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Thales sells industrial IoT business to Telit of US

Philippe Vallée Thales.jpg

French company Thales is selling its cellular internet of things (IoT) business to US group Telit, for a so-far undisclosed price.

Thales said its cellular IoT module business, with approximately 550 employees across 23 countries, generated sales of more than €300 million in 2021. The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2022

Telit CEO Paolo Dal Pino said: “Innovation, scale and efficient IoT solutions are key for success. This transaction with Thales is arguably the most impactful one for Telit competitiveness.”

Thales, which is active in aerospace, defence, transport and security, will keep a 25% stake in the combined company, to be called Telit Cinterion, but it will be under Telit’s leadership, they said.

But the companies said that, “to sharpen focus on industrial IoT, Telit Cinterion plans to spin off and manage separately the automotive IoT unit after closing”.

It appears likely the acquisition will affect a project announced only two weeks ago involving Thales with telecoms equipment maker Ericsson and chip specialist Qualcomm to work on 5G connectivity via low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites.

Philippe Vallée (pictured), Thales’s EVP of digital identity and security, said: “The Thales and Telit combination brings together complementary strengths. The business will provide a unique value proposition in a highly competitive global IoT market and will allow Thales to focus its investments on its three core activities in aerospace, defence and security and digital identity and security.”

Dal Pino said: “While it will boost our ability to address customer needs more precisely from a richer portfolio, it will also enable us to deliver all new offerings derived from the experience, expertise, and the DNA of two companies that have made security and quality part of their brand promise from the very beginning.”

The combined company will offer an “expanded IoT portfolio of products, services, and bundles comprising hardware, software, and connectivity solutions”.

Telit Cinterion will expand its business into “industrial IoT segments and end markets including payment systems, energy, e-health, and security”, the companies said.

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