Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

French defence electronics group Thales acquires Gemalto for €4.8bn

The Paris-based company, which provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets, launched a UAE unit in February

Thales hopes to grow the region’s 2,000-strong workforce by 20 per cent by 2020. Reuters
Thales hopes to grow the region’s 2,000-strong workforce by 20 per cent by 2020. Reuters

French defence electronics group Thales acquired the Dutch data security company Gemalto for €4.8 billion (Dh20bn), creating a technology and security giant employing 80,000 people globally.

With Gemalto, a leader in digital identification and data protection, Thales has gained complementary technologies with applications in five vertical markets – aerospace, space, ground transportation, digital security, and defence and security – said Patrice Caine, chairman and chief executive of Thales.

“The acquisition is a turning point together, we are creating a giant in digital identity and security with the capabilities to compete in the big leagues worldwide,” said Mr Caine.

Following the acquisition, which was completed in 15 months, Gemalto becomes one of Thales’s seven global divisions and will be named Digital Identity and Security. The Dutch entity will work with the group’s civil and defence customers and strengthen the French company's industrial presence in 68 countries.

The combination creates a world leader with a portfolio of solutions in technologies such as digital identity, biometrics, data protection and, more broadly, cyber security, added Mr Caine.

Incorporating the talent and technologies of Gemalto, Thales will develop solutions to address challenges such as unmanned air traffic management, data and network cyber security, airport security and financial transaction security.

Thales plans to boost local content in the Middle East, which is among the company’s fastest growing regions, Pascale Sourisse, senior executive vice president of international development at Thales, said in February. The company, which counts the French government as its biggest single investor with a 26 per cent stake, also hopes to expand the 2,000-strong workforce in the region by 20 per cent by 2020.

To focus more on the Middle East, the Paris-based company announced the launch of a subsidiary Thales Emarat Technologies during the International Defence Exhibition and Conference held in Abu Dhabi in February.

The subsidiary, which is 100 per cent owned by Thales, will focus on radar, radio communications and defence aerospace technologies.

Thales said the acquisition increases its revenues to €19bn and research and development fund to €1bn a year. The company will work with banks, telcos, government agencies, utilities and others to help identify people and objects in order to enhance data security.

Updated: April 2, 2019 12:22 PM