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Gemalto friendzones Atos: We're with Thales now, get the hint

We'll wait for you! cries spurned suitor

After turning down a €4.3bn (£3.8bn) buyout offer from Atos last week, Dutch security and chip biz Gemalto announced today that it has accepted a €4.8bn (£4.2bn) deal from French defence group Thales.

Thales, recently seen on The Reg as builders of some crash-happy drones, made a joint statement with its new beau, in which CEO Patrice Caine said the words everyone wants to hear from their new lover: "The acquisition of Gemalto marks a key milestone in the implementation of Thales's strategy.

"By combining our talents, Thales and Gemalto are creating a global leader in digital security."

Gemalto chief exec Philippe Vallée, having safely captained his company through a poor sales year and Atos's unwanted affections, said: "I am convinced that the combination with Thales is the best and the most promising option for Gemalto."

After last week's rejection, Atos said that it was going to "proceed with the proposed transaction" even though Gemalto was not in favour of the arrangement, saying their offer was "an attractive opportunity".

But now, probably watching the happy couple from nearby and choking back tears, Atos said in a statement: "Atos has decided not to pursue its offer to acquire Gemalto.

"Atos wishes Thales, Gemalto and its employees full success for their project. Should, for any reason, Thales's conditional offer not be completed, Atos shall remain available to discuss a combination with Gemalto."

This looks unlikely, considering that Gemalto's rejection of Atos described them as "opportunistic", and declared it "significantly undervalue[d] the company". Oh, and the fact that Gemalto was a little opaque when it said it wasn't looking for anything serious right now (or more accurately, that it wanted to "grow successfully on a standalone basis") doesn't bode well either.

Never mind, plenty more fish in the sea, eh Atos? ®

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