Atos to pay investors with 23.4 percent stake in subsidiary Worldline

January 30, 2019

(Reuters) – French IT services company Atos SE plans to give investors a special payout in the form of 23.4 percent of shares in its listed payments subsidiary Worldline SA, it said on Wednesday.

Atos’ shareholders are expected to receive two Worldline shares for five Atos shares held, the company said in a statement.

Shares in Worldline have risen around 6 percent in the past year, while those in Atos have dropped around 40 percent over the same period.

Atos will submit its proposal to shareholders at its annual general meeting on April 30.

The company said that after the stake distribution, Worldline would benefit from a strengthened equity profile and an enhanced ability to pursue consolidation opportunities.

Chief Executive Officer Thierry Breton said that after the deconsolidation of Worldline, Atos’ three-year plan is to grow organic revenue by 2-3 percent and profitability of between 11-11.5 percent in 2021.

He also expects a free cash flow generation between 0.8 billion euros ($914.40 million) and 0.9 billion euros in the next two years.

The company said that the three-year plan takes into account the group’s new structure after the acquisition of Syntel and SIX Payment Services.

In October, the company had said that it was “taking the necessary actions” to address a poor commercial performance in North America and Germany, which led to a cut in 2018 revenue guidance that sent its shares down more than 20 percent.

(Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska and Camille Raynaud in Gdynia; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Louise Heavens)