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Atos wants to buy security vendor Gemalto for €4.3 billion

Gemalto MWC

Gemalto, which specialises in SIM-card technology among other things, has received an unsolicited take-over bid from French IT giant Atos.

Atos is offering €46 per share, which is apparently a 42% premium on the Gemalto share price immediately before the bid was made. Despite it being unsolicited the bid is said to be ‘friendly’ (as opposed to hostile) because the two CEOs have had a nice, civilised chat about it.

“On November 28, 2017 Atos submitted its Proposal, valid until December 15, 2017 to the board of the Company,” said the Gemalto announcement. “The Company subsequently informed Atos that it would carefully review the Proposal and respond to it before such date.

“The board of the Company will continue its process of reviewing and considering the Proposal together with its financial and legal advisors in accordance with its fiduciary duties to determine the best course of action in the interest of the Company, its business, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders. There is no certainty that the Proposal will lead to a recommended firm offer for the Company.”

The French state seems to have a big role in all this, owning stakes in both companies, and apparently views the creation of a digital security giant as something of strategic interest. By no coincidence Gemalto’s share price has gone down the toilet this year and, despite the premium, the bid values the company significantly lower than its market price as recently as July of this year.

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