Dutch security biz Gemalto has spurned outsourcing giant Atos' unsolicited offer of a €4.3bn (£3.79bn) buyout describing the proposal as "opportunistic".
The proposed deal was announced publicly on Monday, with the card-security and SIM-flinger having until tomorrow to respond.
Sharing its reply to Atos boss Thierry Breton, Gemalto said Atos' proposal was "opportunistic", and "significantly undervalue[d] the company" to the tune of 27 per cent at a time when it had "stabilised its performance following a challenging period." Over the past year, Gemalto has issued a series of profit warnings.
It went on to describe it as "not reflective of a truly friendly and collaborative approach", as Atos had previously described its offer.
According to the letter sent by chairman of the board Alex Mandl and CEO Phillipe Vallée, Atos had announced the offer without consulting Gemalto.
According to the missive, Atos had indicated that they were filing papers with the Authority for the Financial Markets (the Dutch equivalent of the UK Financial Conduct Authority or the US Securities and Exchange Commission) in preparation, whether or not Gemalto had agreed to the deal, which Atos has confirmed to us.
Gemalto said the company's future prospects and its stakeholders' interests would be better served by remaining independent.
Atos responded in a statement confirming that the company "will proceed with the proposed transaction and is preparing with its advisors all regulatory filings", including its papers sent to the Dutch AFM. It said that it had "noted today the announcement...regarding its friendly proposal", and maintained that "the offer had received strong support" and "presents an attractive opportunity" for Gemalto. The company reinforced "its readiness to open discussions and is confident that Gemalto’s Board of Directors will engage in a constructive direct dialogue with respect to the offer."
As a result of the knockback, Atos shares have fallen 2.8 per cent since Thursday morning.
Responding to a question from Reuters asking if Gemalto would consider changing its mind if Atos revised the offer, Vallée said: “Our answer is clear. I can’t foresee the future.” ®