The French IT company will use the proceeds from the sale of about 12% stake in Worldline to cut down its debt and for general corporate purposes


Atos to sell a stake of around 12% in Worldline. Photo: courtesy of Atos SE.

Atos has launched the sale of €1.2bn worth shares in Worldline, a European payments and transactional services provider, by means of a private placement to qualified investors.

In this connection, the French IT company intends to offload a stake of around 12% in the payments group through an accelerated bookbuilding offering. Following the sale process, Atos will retain a stake of about 13% in its payments subsidiary.

Apart from that, Atos has agreed to transfer €230m worth Worldline’s shares to the Atos UK 2019 Pension Scheme. The pension fund could be issued additional Worldline’s shares until January 2020 under certain circumstances, said Atos.

The proceeds from the transaction will be used by Atos to bring down its existing debt and for general corporate purposes.

The company said that through the transaction, it intends to dispose of an overall stake of about 52% in Worldline.

In late 2018, the Atos subsidiary wrapped up its previously announced acquisition of SIX Payment Services, the former payment services division of SIX Group, for around €2.3bn.

As part of the deal, SIX Group became a shareholder of Worldline with a stake of 27%, while Atos retained a majority stake.

SIX Group enters into collar transaction regarding its shareholding in Worldline

SIX Group has now entered into a separate collar transaction worth more than €500m pertaining to its shareholding in the payments technology firm. The company said that it had entered into the collar transaction to give itself certain flexibility and continued participation in Worldline.

SIX Group, in a statement, said: “Worldline continues to be a highly strategic investment for SIX and SIX remains fully committed to its role on Worldline’s board of directors.”

Worldline, which is present in more than 30 countries, operates along three axes, which include merchant services for physical and online businesses, financial services for banks and financial institutions, and mobility and e-transactional services.

The payments group said: “Worldline welcomes the significant increase of its free float and stock liquidity triggered by the announcements of Atos and SIX Group AG, which are positive and important elements for the pursuit of the strategic agenda of the company, in the perspective of the acceleration of the European payment consolidation.”