Atos Rejects $4.12B Onepoint Bid for Cybersecurity BusinessOnepoint Bid Follows Atos Proposal to Extract More Value From Beleaguered Business
Atos has turned down an unsolicited $4.12 billion offer from rival Onepoint to acquire the French conglomerate's $4.8 billion cybersecurity, big data and digital business.
The Paris-based IT services giant says it received a letter of intent Tuesday related to a potential acquisition of Atos' Evidian business by French competitor Onepoint and British private equity fund ICG.
"Following the thorough examination of this preliminary and non-binding mark of interest, and upon the recommendation of its ad hoc committee, the board of directors has convened and unanimously concluded that it is not in the interest of the company and its stakeholders," Atos says in a statement Thursday. "The board of directors has therefore decided not to proceed."
Onepoint Founder Disappointed by Atos Rejection
Onepoint founder David Layani told Reuters that combining Atos and Onepoint would create a new French technology champion as well as 20,000 jobs in Europe. Layani characterized Onepoint's overtures as "friendly" and urged Atos to reconsider.
"We ask the board to take the time to reconsider its position so that we can work together to find the best solution for this merger," Layani told Reuters. Atos' announcement of Onepoint's interest sent the company's stock skyrocketing, with Atos closing Thursday up $0.81, or 10.64%, to $8.48 per share. That's the highest Atos' stock has traded since Sept. 20.
Atos has been at the center of internal studies and media reports for months regarding potential deals aimed at extracting more value out of the beleaguered firm. Reuters and Bloomberg said in February that Thales was looking to buy Atos' big data and cybersecurity arm while private equity firms swallowed the company's infrastructure and data management teams and business and platform solutions teams (see: Thales Buys OneWelcome for $101.6M to Enter CIAM Market).
Then in March, Airbus joined Thales in attempting to buy Atos' big data and security business driven by the Dutch aircraft manufacturer's interest in the field of cybersecurity. In June, Atos announced it was exploring spinning off its digital, big data and cybersecurity business - also known as Evidian - into a separate publicly listed company by the end of 2023. The breakup plan seems to have reignited outside interest in Atos' assets.
Security Leads Low-Growth Evidian Business
Revenue for Atos' Evidian business in the first half of 2022 inched up to $2.49 billion, 2% higher than the $2.44 billion the year prior on a constant currency basis, thanks to above-market growth from the company's cybersecurity practice. Evidian has 50,000 employees focused on its $3.43 billion digital transformation business and 9,000 employees serving its $1.38 billion big data and security practice.
Atos says Evidian's cybersecurity practice enjoys high single-digit operating margins and was recognized by Gartner as the top managed security services vendor in the world. Atos' big data and security practice benefited from an aggressive acquisition strategy; the company bought German cryptography specialist Cryptovision in September 2021 and Canadian cybersecurity consulting firm In Fidem in January 2021.
In late 2020, Atos purchased Austrian consulting provider SEC Consult Group and Netherlands-based company Motiv ICT Security, as well as Reston, Virginia-based managed detection and response provider Paladion and Paris-headquartered company digital.security.