Oberthur in talks to cede chip card business
French banknote printer and chip card maker Oberthur said it had entered exclusive talks with US investment fund Advent to cede its chip card and identity card business, the company said on Thursday.
Oberthur's chips are widely used in mobile phones, credit cards, transport and pay-television decoders, while its identity card division manufactures official documents like passports, drivers licences, and health service cards.
Oberthur, currently the world's second largest chip card manufacturer, plans to focus on its banknote printing business. It is currently the third largest cash money manufacturer globally.
If the deal is approved by regulators, Oberthur founder Jean-Pierre Savare will remain a minority investor in the new entity, the companies said.
In 2010, Oberthur had total sales of 979 million euros ($1.4 billion).
© 2011 AFP