Atos shares fall 2.8 percent after Gemalto rejects takeover bid

PARIS (Reuters) – Shares in Atos fell as much as 2.8 percent early on Thursday after Franco-Dutch chip maker Gemalto rejected its 4.3 billion euro ($5 billion) takeover bid.

People walk in front of the Atos company’s logo in Paris, France, April 12, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File Photo

Atos led losers on the French blue-chip CAC 40 index early on. Gemalto, the world’s largest maker of chips found in mobile phones and credit cards, on Wednesday said Atos’ offer undervalued the company.

Gemalto shares reversed early gains and traded down 0.50 percent on the previous session.

Philippe Cohen, fund manager at Kiplink Finance said traders expected Atos to sweeten the deal.

“Atos started with a low price, which is logical in this type of negotiations. There’s also the scenario of a ‘white knight’, probably French, such as Thales for example,” he said.

“But the most likely scenario for us is that Atos raises its offer,” he added.

In an interview with French daily Les Echos, Gemalto’s chief executive Philippe Vallee said Atos’s strategy for the group was “unconvincing” and “significantly” undervalued the company, but he did not completely shut the door on a deal.

“We had to respond to this offer,” Vallee told the paper.

Asked if Gemalto would reconsider its decision if Atos responded to their concerns, Vallee added: “Our answer is clear. I can’t foresee the future.”

At 0850 GMT shares in Atos traded at 130.7 euros.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Richard Lough