A split into two listed companies should help the troubled Atos back on its feet. The IT group brings together its infrastructure activities in the Tech Foundation (TFCo) unit, which will operate under the trade name Atos. The data and application activities, including high-performance computing, come under the SpinCo device and are given the trade name Evidian. The separation, the division of current shares into TFCo and SpinCo shares, should be completed in the second half of 2023. Remarkable: for the new CEO Rodolphe Belmer, who was appointed earlier this year, there is no place in it. new constellation; he’s leaving.
CEO Rodolphe Belmer announced the split this morning at a press and analyst meeting. He explained that the French IT group expects to create more focus and freedom of movement with this, so that both branches can develop better separately. ‘We are active in two markets: the data- and application-driven market and that of infrastructure. It is two different markets with different dynamics that are better off with separate strategies and capital structures, also in the longer term for the shareholders. ‘
The division of the group makes his position as general manager superfluous. Belmer will remain in office until September 30.
The data and application activities will be part of the spin-off Evidian (note: this was the name of Bull’s division of management and security solutions, which was acquired by Atos in 2014). It covers digital transformation services and the public cloud, application development and administration, IT security and big data and IoT applications. Philippe Oliva will be the director of SpinCo / Evidian. Evidian has a turnover of 4.9 billion euros and is expected to grow by about five percent this year. The focus is on intensive collaboration with the hyperscales and large software companies.
But according to CEO Belmer, these types of activities, which are at the higher end of the IT spectrum (operating margin 2021: 7.8 percent), are being held back in their growth by the old infrastructure activities at Atos. Its turnover fell by twelve percent in 2021 to 5.4 billion euros with a loss-making operating margin of 1.1 percent. The IT company has to deal with loss-making contracts and countries with difficult market conditions.
Belmer: ‘The infrastructure market is a mature market where growth is slowing down. That does not mean there are no opportunities. Organizations are still moving from their own infrastructure to the cloud. There is a stable demand for consulting, implementation, managed services and services around the digital workplace. The new There is definitely room for a profitable business, and that’s where we want to be with Atos in 2026 with our data center and infrastructure services, hybrid cloud computing and workplace services. ‘
The CEO also points to a few other negative factors that the company suffers from, such as inflation, lack of IT specialists and the ‘war on talent’ (which also includes higher costs), lack of spare parts for HPC and the difficult. integration of American Syntel, acquired in 2018. »We also suffer from so-called ‘pure play competitors’ in the market, competitors who specialize in one activity. Due to the split, both Atos and Evidian will soon be able to fight more sharply. ‘
The company will earmark 1.5 billion euros over the next five years for the reorganization and division of Atos. 0.4 billion of this is intended to be invested in SpinCo (Evidian); 1.1 billion has been set aside. to restructure TFCo (Atos). This involves cleaning up the product portfolio, cost reductions and divestments of non-core activities. The latter was to provide seven hundred million euros. TFCo will be led by Nourdine Bihmane.
Ultimately, the transformation of the company should result in an increase in revenue for Evidian to seven billion by 2026 and an increase in the operating margin to twelve percent. For Atos, the starting point is a return to a stable situation in 2025, only to see revenue grow again a year later with an operating margin of five percent or more. The CEO also predicts revenue growth for 2002 of between -0.5 and 1.5 percent.
Earlier this year, Atos announced a restructuring that simplified its organizational structure. But the group is now going a step further with the split, a decision based in part on a plan by the McKinsey consulting firm. According to analysts, there is a good chance that spin-off Evidian will eventually be bought back by competitors like Thales or Orange.