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Digital: Atos closes Worldwide Payment Services subsidiary

Paris (awp / afp) – French computer giant Atos will overload a part of the capital of its subsidiary Worldline of electronic payments – a separation operation based on “industrial logic”, according to the group.

Atos, which currently owns 50.8% of Worldline’s capital, plans to offer its shareholders 23.4%, with each owner of 5 Atos shares receiving 2 Worldline shares. Atos will save 27.4% Worldline at the end of the transaction.

“This is truly an industrial solution” after “two transformative acquisitions that we made last year,” said Atos's finance director, introducing this operation to journalists.

Each of the two groups listed on the Paris Stock Exchange made a big acquisition last year.

Atos bought the American computer group Syntel in July for $ 3.4 billion. According to analysts, this operation will help accelerate its growth and profitability, rebalance its activities in the United States and allow 18,000 engineers to get their hands in India.

Worldline, for its part, acquired the payment services of the Swiss group Six in May for 2.3 billion euros, creating a European leader in this market in full consolidation.

Athos said on Wednesday that with the division, he will now be able to "focus his activities" on services in the digital sector, while Worldline will better position itself "to exploit opportunities" in the payment services market.

The deal has already been approved by the Worldline board of directors on Tuesday. It will be “presented to the vote of Atos shareholders at the next general meeting, which will be held on April 30, 2019,” the French giant said.

Exchange Catch for Athos

The stock market welcomed the deal with Atos, which rose 7.70% to 81.42 euros to 12:25. Worldline on the other hand lost 2.53% to 46.30 euros.

For Atos, the exchange of stocks, "mechanically playing" for the title, was commented by AFP analyst AlphaValue, an analytical research provider.

They also referred to the fact that they had “caught up” with the integration in court of the positive impact of the acquisition of Sintel, which, according to them, had not been taken into account until now, and thanks to the publication also on Wednesday. annual numbers atos.

The latter announced turnover of 12.26 billion euros for the full year 2018, which is 1.2% at a constant volume and exchange rate. Worldline, for its part, showed organic growth of 6.2% with a turnover of 1.72 billion euros.

Atos, a group of more than 120,000 employees, led by former Minister Thierry Breton, is emerging from a difficult year on the stock market, its share has lost more than 40% of its value.

In particular, stocks plummeted in October, when the group revised its downside and profitability forecasts.

The action exceeded 130 euros in October 2017 and cost more than 105 euros at the end of September, before the announcement of the results for the third quarter seemed to analysts very disappointing.

On Wednesday, Atos holds an investor day, during which he will present his new three-year plan.

In 2019, he said that on Wednesday he predicted organic revenue growth from 2% to 3%, operating margin from 11.5% to 12% of revenue and free cash flow of 0.9 from billion to 1 billion euros.

With the exception of Worldline, which should be removed from the scope after the sale of shares to Atos shareholders, the company expects organic revenue growth from 1% to 2%, the operating margin will be about 10.5%. % of the indicator, and free cash flow from 0.6 to 0.7 billion euros.

AFP / ol

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