Thales acquires Gemalto and consolidates position in digital identity & security industry

Image courtesy of Thales.

The acquisition of Gemalto by Thales, completed over 15 months, for €4.8 billion creates a Group on a new scale employing 80,000 people. Incorporating the talent and technologies of Gemalto, Thales has declared that it “will develop secure solutions to address the major challenges faced by our societies, such as unmanned air traffic management, data and network cybersecurity, airport security or financial transaction security.”

This combination creates a firm with a portfolio of digital identity and security solutions based on technologies such as biometry, data protection, and, more broadly, cybersecurity. Thales hopes to target customers including critical infrastructure providers such as banks, telecom operators, government agencies, utilities and other industries as they step up to the challenges of identifying people and objects and keeping data secure.

Research and development (R&D) is at the core of the new Group, according to a press release from Thales, with its 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.

With €1 billion a year devoted to self-funded R&D, the Group will continue to innovate in its key markets, drawing in particular on its expertise in the Internet of Things, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity.

Following this acquisition, Gemalto will form one of Thales’s seven global divisions, to be named Digital Identity and Security (DIS). Thales will considerably expand 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 North America (6,660 employees, up from 4,600). 

“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. 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,” says Patrice Caine, Chairman and CEO, Thales.