October 11, 2018 / 6:18 AM / 2 months ago

Closing of Thales' offer for Gemalto pushed back slightly to first quarter

PARIS (Reuters) - French aerospace and defense company Thales’ (TCFP.PA) 4.8- billion-euro ($5.6 billion) takeover of chipmaker Gemalto (GTO.AS) is now expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, against an earlier target for the year-end, the companies said.

Thales and Gemalto said the delay was due to talks with anti-trust authorities regarding proposals to address concerns over the deal’s impact on a certain part of their industry.

“Thales and Gemalto are discussing with certain antitrust authorities on remedy proposals to address their concerns with respect to the General Purpose Hardware Security Modules (GP HSM) market,” the companies said on Thursday.

“As a consequence, Thales and Gemalto now expect to close the offer in the first quarter of 2019,” they added in a joint statement.

Companies are eyeing growth in security services such as data encryption and biometric passports where demand is growing.

Regulators typically expect companies to sell assets or agree to give rivals access to some technologies and products, in order to ease concerns that a merger or takeover may hurt competition and push up prices.

Thales and Gemalto added they were in constructive discussions with regulatory bodies regarding the deal.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Sunil Nair

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