EU approve Advent’s acquisition of Morpho subject to smartcard business sale

Categories Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes

European Union antitrust regulators have approved private equity firm Advent International‘s €2.4 billion (US$2.57 billion) acquisition of Safran’s identity and security solutions firm Morpho, conditional on the sale of Morpho’s payment smart card business in France.

The move comes a few months after Safran Identity & Security CEO Anne Bouverot discussed the pending acquisition of Morpho by Advent in a Q&A interview.

The European Commission focused its investigation on the companies’ overlapping activities in smart card markets, as Advent International also controls smart card and digital security provider Oberthur.

Advent has offered to divest Morpho’s French subsidiary CPS to meet the Commission’s requests.

“In view of the remedies proposed, the Commission concluded that the proposed transaction, as modified, would not significantly reduce competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it, including France,” the EU executive said in a statement.

Last fall Safran entered exclusive negotiations to sell its Safran identity and security division to Advent. Gemalto, Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners and KKR also reportedly made offers.

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