Atos in talks to sell Unify to Mitel – 25/01/2023 16:16

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

Diane Galbe, Deputy CEO of Atos, said: “We are delighted with this announcement, which is another important step in the execution of our investment program and brings us closer to our target of around €700 million, which we set seven months ago.” .

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

“Knowing that the disposal program has so far only included the disposal of the residual stake in Worldline (€220 million) and its Italian operations (around €240 million), this would arrive at a UCC value of around 250. million euros or only 0.5 times the turnover”, Invest Securities calculates.

“Although the sale price is not extraordinary at first glance, the sale of UCC is good news in itself, because it was a process that lasted for years (2018 and the acquisition of Syntel). Above all, it gives credibility to the company. the group’s transformational financing plan and to this therefore, it eliminates capital growth risks,” the analyst continues.

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

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Key points

– International leader in digital transformation, European leader in cloud, cyber security and supercomputers, established in 1997;

– EUR 10.8 billion activity divided into 3 divisions: infrastructure, outsourcing and private cloud for 55% of sales, digital, IoT and cloud solutions for 32% and big data and cyber security 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;

– Restructuring and value maximization business model by splitting the group into 2 separate entities at the end of 2023 – Atos for outsourcing and Evidian for digital and security;

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

– The financial position is under control with total cash of €3.5 billion at the end of June, followed by €2.7 billion in bank financing to cover the restructuring costs associated with the demerger.

Challenges

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

– Technical Funds: 1.1 billion euro funded recovery in 2026 with revenue growth, 6% operating margin and free cash flow of 150 million euro,

– Evidian: repositioning the portfolio through a €400 million plan to increase its growth to 7% per year by 2026 with an operating margin of 12% and a free cash flow of €700 million and strengthening the leadership positions with high margins,

– At the end of 2023, the distribution of 100% of Tech Fondations’ shares and 70% of Evidia’s shares to Atos shareholders, 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 through cooperation with university centers (quantum computing, high-scale computing, artificial intelligence, HPC, multicultural leadership, etc.), alliances with other players (AWS, Dell, Google, Huma, Microsoft, OVHCloud, Sparkle…), customers,

– 2 scientific communities consisting of expert employees of the group,

– Scaler program + cooperation with 50 startups;

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

– Carbon neutrality in 2028 and halving of emissions by 2021 compared to 2025,

– sales of decarbonization solutions enhanced by the purchase of EcoAct,

– investments in hydrogen supercomputers and quantum technologies,

– Putting the 1st “green” loan into use;

– Advancement in security with British Cloudreach and Sovereign center in Bulgaria.

Challenges

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

– Debt leverage control, 3.75%;

– Interest of private funds in one or another of the divided activities;

– After returning to sales growth (5.7%) in the 3rd quarter of 2022, the goals for 2022 were set: at the top of the turnover (from 0.5% to 1.5%) and 3% – increase in operating margin in the range below 5% and cash flow below the range of -150 to 200 M€.

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

Growth is hampered by recruitment

According to research conducted for Numeum, a digital professional organization, 79% of companies in the sector believe that a lack of talent is hindering growth in the face of the demand created by digital transformation. Digital service companies predict 5% growth for 2022. Several levers are being put in place by companies to attract, especially reward, talent, and average salaries in the IT sector have generally increased. New work organizations, career development prospects and meaningful assignments are other assets. Capgemini therefore adopted a new contract offering up to 70% remote work to all employees. A report by the Department of Research, Studies and Statistics (Dares) states that these adaptations are important and the French Strategy identifies that IT professions will be among the most employed by 2030.

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