Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thales UK Acquires nCipher for US$100 Million

On July 11, 2008, Thales UK (a subsidiary of the French defense company Thales) submitted a proposal to acquire all the assets of nCipher for roughly US$100 million. nCipher produces cryptographic hardware, and recently acquired most of the assets of NeoScale Systems for just under US$2 million.

The deal is still pending a vote by the nCipher board, but the offer carries a 2x premium on previous stock prices, so it doesn't seem likely that this vote will fail.

The technical editor for the IEEE P1619.3 was employed by NeoScale and is currently employed by nCipher, soon to be acquired by Thales. nCipher is a strong supporter of the P1619.3 key management effort and I'm hoping that Thales will continue in this strong support.

It's a little unclear to me how to pronounce "Thales". The namesake is an ancient greek philosopher, and as such the name should be pronounced "Thay' - leaz". However, the French owners prefer to pronounce it more like "Tal-less".

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