Advent International private equity firm and the Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire Group acquired the Card Systems and Identity divisions of Oberthur for EUR1.15 billion. With this, Advent International now controls 90% of Oberthur Technologies’ capital while the founder of the Oberthur group and his family retain a 10% stake in the capital. Oberthur Technologies is specialised in digital security based on smart card technology. It is the world’s second largest provider of security and identification solutions and services, operating in the mobile and payment industries as well as government and corporate markets.
Oberthur Card Systems of America is now Oberthur Technologies of America, serving North, Central and South America in the payment, mobile and identity segments. The name change is the result of a recent reorganization of its France-based parent company Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire (FCOF). At the end of 2007, FCOF had transferred all of its operations to Oberthur Card Systems which was renamed Oberthur Technologies s.a.Oberthur Technologies of America Corp. is the largest manufacturer of contactless payment cards in the U.S. and the principal provider of ID security solutions to U.S. Federal agencies.
Oberthur Technologies has propositioned XPonCard shareholders for
the acquisition of the respective organization’s stock at SEK 157 per
share, 34% higher than the price on February 18 , 2008 and an offer
of which the board of directors is recommending acceptance. Upon
acceptance of the offer, expected to close between March 12 and April
4th of 2008, the total value of the transaction is projected to reach SEK
704 million. With this development, Oberthur and XPonCard project
smart card sales of nearly EUR 735 million and XPonCard will be more
able to compete in a fast globalizing market with access to Oberthur’s
product portfolio and will be afforded production cost savings. Moreover,
the offer price is subject to adjustments, XPonCard provides card concepts
for secure payment through its sales offices in 16 countries while Oberthur
had sales of EUR 733.4 million in 2007, providing secure technologies in
Oberthur Technologies reported that revenues for its Card Systems unit grew 7% year-on-year and 11% sequentially to 165.1 million euros. Card Systems delivered over 117 million microprocessor cards in the fourth quarter, compared with 87 million in the last quarter of 2006, or a 35% increase in volume terms. About 26 million payment smart cards were delivered in the fourth quarter, up 11% from 4Q/06. However, conventional card sales were down, largely as a result of migration to
EMV and the spread of contactless technology. Personalization services were up 11.5% from the previous quarter with sustained sales in the U.S. and Europe. Revenue from the payment segment as a whole (chip cards, magnetic stripe cards and personalization services) amounted to 71.7 million euros in the fourth quarter. For complete details on Oberthur’s latest results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).
Oberthur Technologies reported that revenues for its Card Systems unit grew 7% year-on-year and 11% sequentially to $239.9 million. Card Systems delivered over 117 million microprocessor cards in the fourth quarter, compared with 87 million in the last quarter of 2006, or a 35% increase in volume terms. About 26 million payment smart cards were delivered in the fourth quarter, up 11% from 4Q/06. However, conventional card sales were down, largely as a result of migration to EMV and the spread of contactless technology. Personalization services were up 11.5% from the previous quarter with sustained sales in the U.S. and Europe. Revenue from the payment segment as a whole (chip cards, magnetic stripe cards and personalization services) amounted to $104.2 million in the fourth quarter. For complete details on Oberthur’s latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
OBERTHUR CARD SYSTEMS SALES
4Q/06: $225.1 million
1Q/07: $165.5 million
2Q/07: $209.5 million
3Q/07: $215.3 million
4Q/07: $239.3 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Oberthur Card Systems reported that its third quarter payment smart card volume rose 28%, compared to one-year ago, to $45 million with 25 million units delivered in the quarter. The Company also announced that it is merging with Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire and re-named Oberthur Technologies. Overall, the company posted a nearly 20% increase in revenues to $212 million. In conventional cards, activity was stable compared to the same period a year ago. This is mainly due to the expected impact of EMV migration. Personalization services were roughly stable year-on-year. Strong European activity was offset by the reduction in the US. The payment segment as a whole represented 47% of Oberthur Card Systems third quarter sales. The UK, French, Iberian, US and Asian markets contributed to this momentum. Oberthur Card Systems is a world provider of smart card solutions, and FCOF supplies over 50 countries with secure identity documents (traditional passports, visas, identity cards, etc.) and electronic passports. For complete details on Oberthur’s third quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com)
Control of scratch cards has been given to Oberthur Card Systems by
The Francois-Charles Oberthur Group. The Group decided to combine
all its subsidiary mobile operator-businesses within Oberthur Card Systems.
Therefore, Oberthur Card Systems will now control sales generated by
scratch cards along with the production activities carried out in the
Puy-Guillaume plant in France and satellite plants throughout the world.
Oberthur Card Systems, a subsidiary of the Francois-Charles Oberthur Group,
had sales of 524 million euros in 2006, 47% of which were from payment
services and 37% of revenues were generated through mobile communications.
Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire had revenues of 745 million euros in
2006 and employs 5,000 people worldwide.
Oberthur Card Systems has appointed Xavier Drilhon as the executive
vice president of the EMEA region, accounting for 70% of the company’s
global sales. In his new position, Drilhon will work as an advisor to
in sales, marketing, personalization activities, mergers and
is a graduate of Telecom INT and Harvard Business School and began
his career as Management Consultant at Arthur Andersen and KPMG Peat
Marwick. He joined the Oberthur Group in 1994 and was Vice President
of banknote Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Francois Charles
Oberthur Fiduciaire between 1994 and 1997. Drilhon then became Director
of Manufacturing and Development with Oberthur Card Systems in 1997.
Among his major accomplishments was the acquisition of the Card Division
of De La Rue and merger with Oberthur Card Systems in 1999. Oberthur
had sales of 524.0 million Euros in 2006, 47% of which from payments and
services and 47% from mobile communications.
ActivCard, a world leader in the provisioning of digital identity and electronic certification technology for e-business communications and transactions, announced a partnership with Oberthur Card Systems. The partnership will bring together Oberthur’s expertise in the field of advanced smart card e-business technology and ActivCard’s proven excellence in the development of digital identity software and management tools to develop a range of secure, integrated transaction solutions for e-business and e-commerce.
By linking the complementary technologies that Oberthur and ActivCard offer, the partners are able to offer clients an open platform smart card based high security solution incorporating ActivCard’s and Oberthur’s smart card management solutions to offer superior identity verification, password generation and authentication procedures.
Marc Bertin, Director of e-business for OCS said, “Oberthur works with a diverse portfolio of partners across the globe and we are delighted that we can now expand this portfolio by working with ActivCard. As our products complement each other it is a great opportunity to bring together our individual expertise in the fields of smart card and e-security technology, to provide secure and integrated transaction solutions for our corporate clients.”
The first project linking Oberthur and ActivCard is the delivery of a secure business-to-business on-line trading environment developed around the Identrus solution, the world’s first global public key cryptography infrastructure providing cast iron security for corporate customers trading over the internet. Using the Identrus infrastructure corporations can positively identify one another through their financial institutions ensuring their communications are secure and create an indisputable record of their transactions. This highly superior security infrastructure is reliant on the integration and co-operation of Oberthur’s superior smart card technology and ActivCard’s advanced client software.
“In the e-business and e-commerce marketplace fraud is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Oberthur and ActivCard are delivering ‘confidence’ to on-line business environments,” commented Tom Arthur, Senior Vice President of worldwide sales and business development. “Our partnership brings tight integration to the design and implementation of solutions that offer greater ease-of-use, a higher level of security and reduced total cost of operations. Pooling our resources is accelerating the delivery of solutions that deliver businesses the ‘confidence’ to perform high-value communications and transactions online as they expand their e-business and e-commerce systems.”
ActivCard, a leader in digital identity and electronic certification technology, delivers core components required to enable next generation e-Business communication and transactions. The ActivCard technology suite offers the ease-of-use of an ATM transaction with a security level better than face-to-face meeting, ActivCard solutions, in conjunction with the applications support for public key based data confidentiality and integrity, allow individuals and businesses to perform secure online transactions over the Internet. Today, more than 1.5 million people use ActivCard products for secure Internet banking, Web access remote access to corporate networks. ActivCard is headquartered in Fremont, California, with worldwide operations in France, United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and Singapore.
About Oberthur Card Systems
Formed in October 1999, from the merger of industry leaders Oberthur Smart Cards and De La Rue Card Systems, Oberthur Card Systems (OCS) is a company with an enviable heritage that is focused firmly on the future. With a portfolio that ranges from magnetic stripe cards to the most advanced smart card based solutions for banking, telecoms, transport and commerce, OCS already has a strong business foundation. It is the world’s #1 supplier of VISA and MasterCard cards, and a global leader in the development and delivery of electronic and mobile commerce solutions. It is also the #1 global supplier of Pay-TV smart cards. Committed to open standards, the company supports Java Card, the Visa Open Platform, MULTOS and Microsoft Windows Card. With an annual turnover of FF 2.5 billion in 1999, OCS has an established international base of 3000 employees located around the globe. The new company is majority owned by Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire, which is the largest instant lottery producer and one of the top security printers of bank notes, cheques, passports and identity cards world-wide.
American Express wants to put some “smarts” into its smart card. AmEx has launched a contest for technology developers to create new ‘Java Card’ technology applications for the AmEx ‘Blue’ credit card. AmEx, Oberthur Card Systems and Sun Microsystems jointly launched the ‘Code Blue’ contest that offers a first prize of $50,000. There are over two million ‘Java’ technology developers. AmEx says that through the use of Java technology, AmEx wants to demonstrate its commitment to making Blue an ‘evolving’ credit card by adding new features and services that meet open and interoperable standards. To-date, the smart card feature of the ‘Blue’ card has largely been a marketing ploy to demonstrate leadership in the emerging card technology arena. Currently the AmEx ‘Blue’ smart chip stores a unique digital certificate that, when used with a special smart card reader plugged into a PC, provides extra security when shopping online. The smart card readers are available free for a limited time to AmEx ‘Blue’ cardholders. Contest details are available via CardFlash Online.
Oberthur Card Systems announced Wednesday it will support the entire family of MasterCard payment products, including ‘MasterCard Credit’ and ‘Debit’, ‘Maestro’, ‘Mondex’ and ‘M/Chip’, MasterCard’s chip-based integrated credit/debit application in mobile commerce. Under terms of the joint marketing and development agreement, Oberthur will enhance its ‘SIMphonIC’ and ‘ConnectIC’ card products to enable acceptance of MasterCard payment products.The agreement also includes provisions to support mobile commerce pilots in more than seven countries to demonstrate the ease, flexibility and security of mobile transactions. ‘ConnectIC’ is the world’s first ‘Wireless Application Protocol’ enabled smart card. ‘SIMphonIC’ is the most standardized ‘SIM Application Toolkit’ card on the market.
Oberthur Card Systems will announce this morning the launch of Version 2 of its new Java-based ‘SIMphonIC Mini-Browser’, which enables mobile phone operators to make card modifications either “Over-The-Air”, transferring updates or changes via ‘SMS’ to the ‘SIM’ card, or at a point-of-sale terminal. Until now, card users have only been able to delete the last applet downloaded to the card. With ‘V2’, operators now have the ability to add, remove and list the card status with no interruption to normal GSM operation. Using the ‘Wireless Internet Gateway’, GSM mobile users can gain access to interactive web applications via their phone’s display. Written in HTML or WML, these applications can be stored on any www server. When users request a service, the gateway fetches the relevant application from the content provider, transforming the HTML/WML script into bit code. This is then received by the mobile phone’s SIM and is translated by the ‘SIMphonIC Browser’ into ‘SIM Toolkit’ commands. The users can then respond via their keypad, their responses being relayed back to the content provider’s server via the SIM. For operators, this opens the way to true wireless electronic commerce. With the ‘Mini-Browser’, mobile handset users will be able to make electronic payments, reserve and purchase tickets and undertake any number of other transactions.