Gemalto said that its board of directors had unanimously voted to reject the proposal

Digital security firm Gemalto has rejected a €4.3 billion takeover bid from French IT vendor Atos, on the basis that it undervalues the company.

Gemalto employs 15,000 people in 48 countries. Last year it recorded revenues of €3.1 billion. 

"Gemalto rejects unsolicited and conditional proposal by Atos. We have taken the measure of the recent changes in our historical markets, taken the responsible decisions and are now focused on leveraging the many opportunities of our fast-growing markets," said Philippe Vallée, CEO, Gemalto.

In a statement read to the press, Gemalto insisted that it was best positioned to grow successfully on a standalone basis and create long term value for its stakeholders, including its shareholders. The statement said that after detailed consultation, the board, major shareholders and key stakeholders had unanimously decided to reject the offer.  

"We will soon be presenting to our stakeholders our ambitious and substantial development plan for the company that will focus on the next generation of digital security for companies, governments and citizens worldwide," added Vallée. 

Gemalto’s board of directors also raised concerns over the way the takeover proposal was conducted, saying that it was concerned that this could serve as proof of, what it called, "cultural differences" between the two firms.  

"Atos’ Proposal is not reflective of a friendly and collaborative approach as it was not preceded by customary exploratory discussions, the announcement of the Proposal was done unilaterally and Atos indicated its intention to file an offer memorandum with the AFM irrespective of whether it has reached agreement with Gemalto," read a Gemalto statement. 

Germalto is listed on both the Dutch and French stock exchanges. The company’s share price rose sharply after it publicly rejected the proposed takeover, rising from €33.95 to €45.20 on Monday. The price has continued to edge up in recent days, settling at €47.20 on Thursday.