Gemalto’s board turned down an acquisition attempt by IT services company Atos, stating the bid significantly undervalued the company and failed to address the consequences of integration.

The company’s official response to the €4.3B bid, signed by CEO Phillippe Vallee and chairman Alex Mandl, said the valuation did not reflect its leadership position in fast growing market segments including “highly strategic government and security activities.”

It also launched scathing criticism of the detail in the acquisition proposal, stating Atos provided no analysis of the regulatory hurdles the deal would have to clear and failed to detail the impact on Gemalto’s business, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.

The statement went on to brand the timing of the bid as “opportunistic”. Although the offer provided a premium on Gemalto’s recent share price, the company noted the valuation was 27 per cent lower than its 12-month high and only 3.5 per cent higher than its average over the last 12 months.

Fighting on
Atos said it would address the concerns raised and planned to proceed, adding it remained ready to open discussions with Gemalto’s board.

“Atos reaffirms that its offer is made with friendly intentions and is based on a solid and compelling industrial project for both companies, their employees, customers and other stakeholders,” it said in a statement.

“As a company recruiting more than 10,000 employees per year, all of the 15,000 employees of Gemalto will be welcome and integrated in the enlarged group. Atos also confirms that it intends to integrate all of the Gemalto businesses within the combined group and will maintain the Gemalto brand.”

Atos made its approach for Gemalto earlier this week, hailing the move as an attempt to create a “worldwide leader” across artificial intelligence, big data, cloud, digital identity, access management and data encryption.

Gemalto is a specialist in on-device digital security products, alongside providing SIM cards and NFC platforms. Atos supplies the backbone to data analytics, advertising and mobile payment services for some of the world’s largest operator groups.