EU antitrust regulators have approved the acquisition of the French security solutions provider Morpho by the US private equity firm Advent International. The deal is said to be worth €2.4 billion.

Morpho is a provider of identity and security solutions, currently owned by the French aerospace company Safran. The company provides services for managing identities and public security, as well as other security solutions. It specializes in providing smart cards such as electronic ID cards as well as SIM cards, serving banks, telecom operators, and other commercial service providers.

EU regulators previously had reservations regarding the sale, stating, “for payment smart cards, the proposed transaction, as initially notified, would have significantly reduced competition in the market for payment smart cards in France. This market is particularly difficult to enter, reducing the ability of suppliers not currently active in France to compete effectively.”

The EU approval of the deal is contingent on Morpho selling its payments smart card business, CPS Technologies, which it acquired in 2012.

Advent also owns smart card and identity industry leader Oberthur Technologies, and so this acquisition is particularly significant as it will strengthen the firm's position in the industry.

According to Advent, Morpho's activities in both development and production are to remain in France.

Read more: European Commission (Press release)

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