EP Equity Investment to acquire Atos’ Tech Foundations and to invest in Eviden
1. 8. 2023
EP Equity Investment (EPEI) and Atos SE announce the final stage of exclusive negotiations for the sale of Atos’ Tech Foundations business line. Simultaneously, EPEI commits to subscribe to the reserved capital increase of Eviden and is committed to participate in a subsequent rights issue offered to all Atos shareholders.
Atos’ Board of Directors decided to enter into exclusive negotiations with EPEI for the contemplated Sale of 100% of Tech Foundations for a net cash positive impact of €0.1bn and the transfer of €1.9bn of on-balance sheet liabilities, leading to an enterprise value of €2.0bn
This follows the full separation of Eviden and Tech Foundations within the Atos group, as announced at Atos’ Capital Markets Day in June 2022. Tech Foundations globally provides leading infrastructure and data center services, private and hybrid cloud services, data management, intelligent networks, digital workplace and collaboration, and related professional services. Eviden provides globally leading digital, public cloud, cybersecurity, and advanced computing services. Eviden would remain listed through its parent Atos SE (expected to be renamed Eviden SE following the sale); Tech Foundations will retain the “Atos” brand.
Daniel Křetínský, the controlling shareholder of EP Equity Investment, stated: “Acquiring Tech Foundations represents a great opportunity for us to invest in large-scale European IT infrastructure and services and provide our support for Tech Foundations business line to continue providing reliable and valuable services, from the everyday to the mission-critical. The fact that critical data storing infrastructure for European clients is located in the EU and operated by the EU company is and will be an essential cyber security prerequisite and the key differentiating factor. We have confidence in the employees and current management of the Tech Foundation business and its CEO Nourdine Bihmane to apply their vast experience for the benefit of Atos clients. We also believe in the growth potential of Eviden, and this strategic move aligns perfectly with our long-term investment vision. We are confident in the value and prospects that Tech Foundations and Eviden bring to the market. We will continue to develop the Atos brand, which ranks among the strongest in the market. The acquisition of Tech Foundations is also an important milestone in diversifying our investments and will contribute to greater stability within the group.”
Nourdine Bihmane, CEO of Atos, said: “I am very pleased with the envisioned transaction, which demonstrates EPEI’s full confidence in the capabilities and potential of Tech Foundations and Eviden. With EPEI’s backing, we will deliver on our plan to reach a major step in Atos transformation, to accelerate value creation for all our stakeholders.”
EPEI’s commitment to subscribe to the capital increase for 7.5% of the post-money share capital, at a premium price of €20 per share, showcases confidence in Eviden’s potential. EPEI is also committed to participate in a subsequent rights issue offered up to the total amount of €217m for both the capital increase and the rights issue.
EP Equity Investment has agreed with the investment holding company FIMALAC, controlled by the prominent French investor Marc Ladrait de Lacharrière, that they will hold discussions in the coming days about the potential minority participation of FIMALAC in the acquisition of Tech Foundations and the increase of registered capital of Eviden.
The strategy of FIMALAC is to invest on a long-term basis in controlling or co-controlling stakes in industrial companies with leading positions in national markets, which have the potential for additional growth in the domain of their expertise by scaling up their presence on the European or global market.
It is also expected that a minority stake in Tech Foundation will be acquired by the company’s management.
The envisioned Transaction is subject to final agreements, shareholder approvals, regulatory clearances, and other customary conditions, with completion expected in early 2024.
Atos, a global leader in digital transformation and high-performance computing, provides advanced solutions for businesses across various industries. The exclusive negotiations with EPEI for the sale of Tech Foundations represent a significant milestone in Atos’ strategic transformation towards becoming Eviden, a leading player in the digital and cloud markets.
EP Equity Investment is an investment company focusing on investments in publicly traded companies and prospective European businesses. For EP Equity Investment, the acquisition of a majority stake in Atos’ Tech Foundations business line is the first step in the implementation of its new strategy. In addition to the management of significant minority stakes in listed companies (predominantly through VESA Equity Investment). EP Equity Investment will also have the flexibility to invest in both majority or minority stakes, including companies that are not listed, or to support a minority strategic partner with a majority capital. The equity of EP Equity Investment at the end of 2022 amounted EUR 2.6 billion based on preliminary financial statements, with a strong potential for further increase, especially by depositing additional assets. On a proportional basis (reflecting EPEI’s shares of the companies in its portfolio), the EPEI group achieves sales of EUR 17 billion, EBITDA of EUR 1.1 billion and employs 94 thousand employees. The main equity holdings are significant minority shares in publicly listed companies such as International Distributions Services (Royal Mail), Sainsbury’s, Fnac Darty, PostNL, Foot Locker or TF1.