Gemalto pounces on SafeNet for cloud encryption and authentication

European smartcard security vendor Gemalto has announced a deal to buy US cloud and encryption management vendor SafeNet for $890 million (£530 million).

Tech firms make acquisitions for a variety of reasons but the SafeNet buy is definitely one of rational diversification for Gemalto.

The latter is known for its card and embedded identity management technology at which it has excelled in a dull, European way. SafeNet's portfolio has poenty of depth but the attractive core is the authentication and encryption key management systems that are becoming critical to cloud security and enterprise application deployment.

"The opportunity to acquire SafeNet has come at exactly the right time, as we have just entered into our new multi-year development plan and there is a perfect fit between Gemalto's 'security at the edge' and SafeNet's 'security at the core' capabilities," said Gemalto CEO, Olivier Piou.

"This will enable us to further accelerate the deployment of strong security solutions in the Enterprise sector, and expand our technologies and growth opportunities in protecting online access."

Currently owned by Vector Capital, which took it private in 2007, SafeNet then built itself slowly, partly through acquisition. Probably the best known of those were the purchases of Ingrian Networks in 2008 and Aladdin Knowledge Systems in 2009. Further back in time it toyed with the idea of Acquiring Alex van Someren's UK encryption startup nCipher.

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