IT services company Atos offered €4.3 billion to acquire digital identity specialist and SIM card manufacturer Gemalto, in an attempt to strengthen its position in IoT, digital payments and security.

In a statement, France-based Atos said a merger of the companies would create a “worldwide leader” by combining its platforms covering artificial intelligence (AI), big data and cloud services with Gemalto’s digital identity, access management and data encryption capabilities.

Both Atos and Gemalto already provide a range of services to mobile operators across payments, security and M2M services in addition to back-end solutions.

Atos supplies the backbone to data analytics, advertising and mobile payment services alongside billing platforms for some of the world’s largest operator groups.

Gemalto sells a range of cloud and on-device digital security products used to authenticate IoT devices, secure mobile payments and protect corporate and customer data on smartphones. It also provides SIM cards and NFC platforms.

The company’s board confirmed it was considering the proposal and would respond by the end of the week (15 December).

Talking-up the prospects for the combined entity, Atos chairman and CEO Thierry Breton said it would: “result in enhanced global leadership in cybersecurity, digital technologies and services and in the strengthening of our positioning as a leading European payment services provider.”

“Atos has carefully considered the interest of the stakeholders of the two groups, shareholders, employees, and customers which will all benefit from the proposed friendly transaction,” he added: “In addition, Atos comes forward with a long track-record of successfully integrating management teams, employees and businesses”.

In a statement, Gemalto said: “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.”