GE Capital And Gemplus Agree To Strategic Alliance In Smart Cards.
In addition to the equity investment, the two companies will work together to develop new products and services.
Given the growing importance of smart card applications in all areas of information technology, the alliance reflects both companies' commitment to better serve markets such as telecommunications, electronic transactions, customer retention schemes, healthcare, transportation, education, mass retailing, and network security.
The smart card market is expanding rapidly and will require major worldwide investments in research and development, marketing and sales, and service activities.
GE Capital, a financial services company that is a good strategic fit with Gemplus, will be a key factor in accelerating Gemplus' expansion and development in emerging markets, most notably in the Asian and American continents, where these new technologies have only recently been introduced and which have enormous growth potential.
The strategic alliance is in line with the ongoing strategy to restructure Gemplus' shareholder base. Since its creation in May 1988, Gemplus has relied essentially on venture capital from companies in and outside France. Now that the company has gained sufficient scope and maturity, it is replacing its original partners, whose sole contributions were financial, with investors from the manufacturing and service industries who have a strategic interest in a link up with Gemplus.
Gemplus has an international shareholder structure. In addition to the employees who founded the company in France, two non-French partners hold major interests: Quandt, the German family that brought its expertise in magnetic stripe cards and DataCard personalization to Gemplus, and the Singapore government-controlled Singapore Technologies. GE Capital's investment will further diversify the shareholder base, while enabling the French company to strengthen its presence and reputation in the United States.
A limited number of other manufacturing investors could also become shareholders in the near future.
According to Marc Lassus, CEO and founder of Gemplus Group, "The support of prestigious partners like GE Capital will not only strengthen our undisputed position as world leader in smart cards, but will also help us expand into promising new markets, including healthcare, education, network security, such as the Internet, and electronic commerce.
GE Capital is one of the world's leading issuers of private-label cards. The company is involved in almost all areas where the new smart card technology in being applied.
Commenting on the new agreement, Dave Nissen, president and chief executive officer of GE Capital Global Consumer Finance, said, "I am delighted by this new partnership with the world leader in smart cards. The alliance, which highlights GE Capital's strategic equity investment initiative, will help GE Capital to consolidate its position in financial services for consumers."
Additional Information On Gemplus
Gemplus Group is the world's leading producer of plastic and smart cards. The group manufactures and sells memory cards, microprocessor cards (both contact and contactless) or magnetic stripe cards as well as electronic labels. It also designs and markets software, terminals and systems, besides providing personalization, consultancy and training services to offer its customers comprehensive solutions.
Gemplus sells its products worldwide for applications such as public and cellular telephony, financial transactions, loyalty, transportation, education, healthcare, gaming, identity, access control, pay TV, computer network security and electronic commerce. For more information, please look up our Internet site: http://www.gemplus.com.
Additional Information On GE Capital
GE Capital is a financial services company operating worldwide with 27 specialized activities. Based in Stamford, Connecticut, GE Capital provides businesses and consumers with equipment management services, mid-size business financing, specialized financing, specialized insurance, and a variety of consumer services, including car leasing with an option to buy, mortgage loans, and credit cards. The parent company, General Electric, has diversified operations worldwide in industry, technology and services.
CONTACT: Dr. Patricia Neptune Anthony Zhender
Neptune Group International GE Capital
(203)221-2820 (203) 357-4728
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|Date:||Apr 21, 1997|
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