Defence company Thales completed a €4.8 billion acquisition of SIM and authentication specialist Gemalto, as its CEO talked-up its new position as a major global player in digital identity and security.
The deal took more than 15 months to finalise and was subject to European Commission demands that Thales divested its general purpose hardware security module (HSM) business to allay competition concerns.
Its HSM unit was spun-off into a company named nCipher in January, ahead of a proposed sale. A buyer for the new company is yet to be announced.
In a statement, Thales said its purchase of Gemalto created a “world-class leader” in digital identity and security solutions based on technologies including biometrics, data protection and cybersecurity.
Gemalto will form a new Digital Identity and Security division of Thales. The business will continue to target banks, telecoms operators, government agencies and utility providers with its solutions.
Thales CEO and chairman Patrice Caine (pictured) said: “With Gemalto, a global leader in digital identification and data protection, Thales has acquired a set of highly complementary technologies and competencies with applications in all of our five vertical markets, which are now redefined as aerospace; space; ground transportation; digital identity and security; and defence and security.”
“These are the smart technologies that help people make the best choices at every decisive moment,” he added. “The acquisition is a turning point for the group’s 80,000 employees. Together, we are creating a giant in digital identity and security with the capabilities to compete in the big leagues worldwide.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back