French multinational Thales has completed its €4.8 billion acquisition of the Netherlands’ Gemalto, creating a digital security heavyweight with a combined team of 80,000 and pledging aggressive global expansion.
The deal closed in 15 months, after Thales’ divestment of its general hardware security module (HSM) specialist nCipher Security to the US’s Entrust Datacard in February; a move required by competition regulators.
Thales said Gemalto will form one of its seven global divisions, to be named Digital Identity and Security (DIS) and support innovation across:
- Banking: Big Data analytics
- Defence: biometrics
- Aerospace: unmanned traffic management
- Ground transportation: Internet of Things
- Space: Internet of Things
- Telecommunications: Big Data analytics
Thales Expansion Plans
Post-deal, Thales will quadruple its operations in Latin America (2,500 employees, up from 600), triple its presence in Northern Asia (1,980, from 700), Southeast Asia (2,500, from 800) and India (1,150, from 400) and also boost its team in North America (6,660 employees, up from 4,600) under an aggressive expansion plan, it said this morning.
Thales CEO Patrice Caine said: “With Gemalto… 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.”
He added: “These are the smart technologies that help people make the best choices at every decisive moment. 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.”
Focus on R&D
The combined company will have a pronounced research and development focus, Thales said, with 3,000 researchers and 28,000 engineers dedicated to R&D: “Today the Group has become a giant laboratory inventing the world of tomorrow, with a portfolio of 20,500 patents, of which more than 400 new ones were registered in 2018.”
Thales’ CEO added: “We are creating a giant in digital identity and security with the capabilities to compete in the big leagues worldwide.”