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One-point bidding to extract more value from distressed businesses follows Atos proposal

Michael Novinson (Michael Novinson) •
September 29, 2022

Atos has rejected a $4.12 billion one-point bid for its cybersecurity business.

Atos has turned down a $4.12 billion unsolicited offer from rival Onepoint to acquire French conglomerate Onepoint’s $4.8 billion cybersecurity, big data and digital business.

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The Paris-based IT services giant said it received a letter of intent on Tuesday relating to the possible acquisition of Atos’ Evidian business by French rival Onepoint and British private equity fund ICG.

“Following a thorough investigation of this preliminary, non-binding mark of interest, and on the recommendation of the Special Committee, the Board of Directors has been convened, and it is unanimous that it will not be in the interests of the company and its stakeholders. in a statement,” Athos said in a statement on Thursday. “Therefore, the Board has decided not to proceed.”

Onepoint founder disappointed with Atos rejection

Onepoint founder David Layani told Reuters that the combination of Atos and Onepoint will create a new French technology champion and 20,000 jobs in Europe. Layani characterized Onepoint’s overture as “friendly”, prompting Atos to reconsider.

“I am asking the board to reconsider its position over time so that together we can find the best solution for this merger,” Mr Layani told Reuters. Atos’ announcement of his Onepoint interest sent the company’s stock soaring, with Atos on Thursday rising by $0.81, or 10.64%, to $8.48 per share. This is the highest price Athos shares have traded since Sept.

Atos has been at the center of months of internal investigations and media coverage over a potential deal aimed at extracting more value from the distressed company.Reuters and Bloomberg reported Feb. , said Thales is considering acquiring Atos’ big data and cybersecurity division, while the private equity firm is swallowing up the company’s infrastructure and data management team, as well as its business and platform solutions team (see below). ). Thales Buys OneWelcome for $101.6M, Enters CIAM Market).

Then in March, Airbus joined Thales in an attempt to acquire Atos’ big data and security business, given the Dutch aircraft maker’s interest in cybersecurity. In June, Atos announced that by the end of 2023 he is considering splitting its digital, big data and cybersecurity business, also known as Evidian, into a separate publicly traded company. The split plan appears to have rekindled outside interest in Atos’ assets.

Security leads low-growth Evidian business

Atos’ Evidian business reported revenues of $2.49 billion in the first half of 2022, up 2% from $2.44 billion a year earlier on a constant currency basis. Evidian has 50,000 employees dedicated to his $3.43 billion digital transformation business, and 9,000 employees to his $1.38 billion big data and security operations. increase.

According to Atos, Evidian’s cybersecurity practice boasts high single-digit operating margins and is recognized by Gartner as the top managed security services vendor in the world. Atos’ big data and security practices benefited from an aggressive acquisition strategy. The company acquired German cryptography specialist Cryptovision in September 2021 and Canadian cybersecurity consultancy In Fidem in January 2021.

In late 2020, Atos joined forces with Austrian consulting provider SEC Consult Group and Netherlands-based company Motiv ICT Security, Reston, Virginia-based managed detection and response provider Paladion, and Paris-based company was acquired.

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