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GE Capital And Gemplus Agree To Strategic Alliance In Smart Cards.

GEMENOS, France--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 21, 1997--GE Capital and Gemplus have signed an agreement in which the subsidiary of US-based General Electric will acquire a significant equity interest in the world's leading smart card company.

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 Communicating information, including data, text, pictures, voice and video over long distance. See communications. , 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 The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
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 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 A magnetic stripe card is a type of card capable of storing data by modifying the magnetism of tiny iron-based magnetic particles on a band of magnetic material on the card.  and DataCard personalization Custom tailoring information to the individual. On the Web, personalization means returning a page that has been customized for the user, taking into consideration that person's habits and preferences.  to Gemplus, and the Singapore government-controlled Singapore Technologies. GE Capital's investment will further diversify diversify

To acquire a variety of assets that do not tend to change in value at the same time. To diversify a securities portfolio is to purchase different types of securities in different companies in unrelated industries.
 the shareholder base, while enabling the French company to strengthen its presence and reputation in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .

A limited number of other manufacturing investors could also become shareholders in the near future.

According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 Marc Lassus, CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board.  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 Example of widely used contactless smart cards are Hong Kong's Octopus card, Paris' Calypso/Navigo card and Lisbon' LisboaViva card, which predate the ISO/IEC 14443 standard. The following tables list smart cards used for public transportation and other electronic purse applications. , 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:

Additional Information On GE Capital

GE Capital is a financial services company operating worldwide with 27 specialized spe·cial·ize  
v. spe·cial·ized, spe·cial·iz·ing, spe·cial·iz·es

1. To pursue a special activity, occupation, or field of study.

 activities. Based in Stamford, Connecticut Stamford is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to 2006 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 119,261, making it the fourth largest city in the state. , GE Capital provides businesses and consumers with equipment management services, mid-size business financing, specialized financing, specialized insurance, and a variety of consumer services Consumer Services refers to the formulation, deformulation, technical consulting and testing of most consumer products, such as food, herbs, beverages, vitamins, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, hair products, household cleaners, [paints, plastics, metals, waxes, coatings, minerals, , including car leasing with an option to buy, mortgage loans, and credit cards. The parent company, General Electric, has diversified diversified (di·verˑ·s  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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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 21, 1997
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