THE KUDELSKI GROUP ACQUIRES THE AUSTRIAN COMPANY SKIDATA, WORLD LEADER IN PHYSICAL ACCESS CONTROL
Gemplus International S.A (Euronext: Sicovam 5768 and NASDAQ:GEMP) and Kudelski S.A. (SWX: KUD) announced today an agreement for the sale of SkiData AG, Gemplus' leading electronic access-control solutions business unit. The transaction values the SkiData enterprise at 140 million Euros. Under the terms of the agreement, Kudelski S.A. will pay partly in cash, partly in shares. The agreement includes provisions that protect the value and liquidity of the share component to Gemplus. The transaction is expected to close within the next two months subject to customary closing conditions.
The acquisition of SkiData, based in Gartenau near Salzburg, is in line with the Kudelski Group's strategy of convergence between digital television - its core business -, the Internet, digital phones and physical access, focused on ensuring security of the transactions effected over these media.
After its investments in SportAccess and Systems in 2000 and the acquisition of TicketCorner in May 2001, the Kudelski Group continues its expansion in the convergence sectors.
The acquisition of SkiData introduces new areas of applications for the Kudelski Group's technology. As the world leader in solutions for ski resorts, and detaining a strong position in systems designed for car parks, SkiData allows the Kudelski Group to extend its services to include new types of installations as a complement to sectors such as stadiums, leisure parks and baths which are more specific to SportAccess.
The technological competencies of SkiData, SportAccess and TicketCorner, their specific know-how and respective markets will allow the Kudelski Group to be in a strong position to offer high value-added services to the users in the framework of the ""direct-to-gate"" concept. This concept involves facilitated access to installations through e-ticketing systems available via various digital media.
Beyond the technological aspect, SkiData will benefit from the Kudelski Group's strong international market presence, especially in the United States and in Asia.
This transaction marks an important step in the willingness to establish long term cooperation between the Kudelski Group and Gemplus.
For more information, please contact André Kudelski on (+41 21) 732 01 03.