Atos negotiates the sale of Unify to Mitel

(AOF) – Atos has entered into exclusive negotiations with Mitel for the sale of Unify, a specialist in remote working and work sharing solutions. On the stock market, the Atos share lost 1.84% to 11.46 euros in an unfavorable market environment for technology stocks due to Microsoft’s disappointing prospects in the cloud. Unify achieves a turnover of approximately 550 million euros.

“We are pleased with this announcement, which marks another important step in the execution of our divestment program and which brings us closer to the objective of around 700 million euros that we set 7 months ago.” , said Diane Galbe, Deputy CEO of Atos.

This program was unveiled last June at the same time as the group’s transformation project.

“Knowing that the disposal program only included to date the disposal of the residual stake in Worldline (220 million euros) and the disposal of its activities in Italy (approximately 240 million euros), this would come to a price of ‘UCC of about 250 million euros, or only 0.5 times the turnover “, calculates Invest Securities.

“While the sale price is not at first sight extraordinary, the sale of UCC is in itself good news, since it was a process that had been going on for years (2018 and the acquisition of Syntel) Above all, it gives credibility to the group’s transformation financing plan, and therefore eliminates the risks of a capital increase”, continues the analyst.

The proposed transaction is subject to consultation with the relevant employee representative bodies and other customary regulatory approvals. Its closing is scheduled for the second half of 2023.

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Key points

– International leader in digital transformation created in 1997, European leader in cloud, cybersecurity and supercomputers;

– Activity of €10.8 billion, divided into 3 divisions: infrastructure, outsourcing and private cloud for 55% of sales, digital, IoT and cloud solutions for 32% and big data & cybersecurity for 13%;

– Geographical balance of revenues: 23% of sales in North America, 25% in Northern Europe, 23% in Central Europe and 22% in Southern Europe;

– Value maximization business model through restructuring and the division, at the end of 2023, of the group into 2 separate entities – Atos for outsourcing and Evidian for digital and security;

– Open capital (9.96% for the Siemens pension fund and 2.2% for employees), Bertrand Meunier chairing the 13-member board of directors, Nourdine Bihman being managing director;

– Financial situation under control with €3.5 billion in gross cash at the end of June, then obtaining bank financing of €2.7 billion to cover the cost of restructuring linked to the demerger.

Challenges

– Strategy for the second half of 2023 to split the group into 2 companies, Tech Fondations for outsourcing (infrastructure) and connected work environments and Evidian for digital transformation, big data and security:

– Tech Fondations: recovery financed to the tune of €1.1 billion, with return to revenue growth, operating margin of 6% and free cash flow of €150 million in 2026,

– Evidian: repositioning of the portfolio and strengthening of leading positions with raised margins via a €400 million plan to accelerate its growth to 7% per year until 2026, with an operating margin of 12% and free cash flow of €700 million,

– at the end of 2023, distribution to Atos shareholders of 100% of the shares of Tech Fondations and 70% of those of Evidian, which will then be listed on Euronext Paris in early 2023;

– Innovation strategy developed in 18 R&D centers with a portfolio of 3,000 patents:

– open innovation via partnerships with university centers (quantum computing, exascale computers, artificial intelligence, HPC, multicultural leadership, etc.), with alliances with other players (AWS, Dell, Google, Huma, Microsoft, OVHCloud, Sparkle…) and with customers,

– 2 scientific communities of expert collaborators of the group,

– Scaler program of collaboration with + 50 start-ups;

– Environmental strategy supported by the Digital Transformation Factory, the Hybrid Cloud, the “Business Accelerators” solutions, the “Connected Intelligence” and the “Digital Workplace”:

– carbon neutrality in 2028 and halving of emissions by 2025 vs 2021,

– sales of decarbonization solutions, reinforced by the acquisition of EcoAct,

– investments in hydrogen supercomputers and quantum technologies,

– launch of the 1st “green” loan;

– Progress in security with the British Cloudreach and the Sovereign center in Bulgaria.

Challenges

– Rise in the 4th quarter of order intake, to 71% of revenues at the end of September;

– Control of debt leverage, 3.75%;

– Interest of private funds for one or the other of the divided activities;

– After the return to growth (5.7%) in sales in the 3rd quarter, 2022 objectives specified: increase in turnover at the top of the range (0.5% to 1.5%) and operating margin in the bottom of the range of 3% to 5% and cash flow at the bottom of the range of -150 to 200 M€.

Learn more about the IT / DSE sector (digital service companies)

Growth hampered by recruitment

According to a study for Numeum, the digital professional organization, 79% of companies in the sector consider that their growth is hampered by the shortage of talent in the face of demand driven by digital transformation. Digital service companies forecast 5% growth for 2022. Several levers are activated by companies to attract talent, in particular remuneration, while average salaries have generally increased in the IT sector. New work organisations, career development prospects and meaningful assignments are other assets. Capgemini has therefore adopted a new agreement offering up to 70% telework to all employees. These adaptations are essential as a report from the Department of Research, Studies and Statistics (Dares) and France Strategy establishes that IT professions will be among those who will recruit the most by 2030. .

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Atos negotiates the sale of Unify to Mitel


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