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Atos: Daniel Křetínský unlikely to become Eviden shareholder

IT group half-heartedly confirms information leaked in press.

Digital transition - December 05, 2023

According to BFM Business and La Lettre, Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský is in the end unlikely to be a shareholder of Eviden, the Atos branch dedicated to its growing businesses, including cybersecurity. The French IT group confirmed the information half-heartedly in a press release dated November 28, 2023.

Responding to “recent events in the media,” Atos announced it was in negotiations with Křetínský “to modify and simplify some terms” in the agreement between both parties. According to the deal, which was announced in early August 2023, the Czech billionaire was to acquire Tech Foundations, the Atos branch dedicated to the group’s traditional IT facilities management business, for two billion euros.

The operation would allow the split of Atos into two entities: Tech Foundations and Eviden. Atos would then shift its focus to the latter, which is made up of its cloud, cybersecurity, supercomputer, and quantum information businesses. Moreover, the August 2023 agreement provided for a 900 million euro increase in Eviden’s capital. Daniel Křetínský would then have taken over 7.5% of the company, through a 217.5-million-euro investment.

This last point was strongly criticized, by French MPs, due to the strategic aspect of Eviden’s businesses for France. Atos is therefore thought to be on the verge of canceling this controversial clause of the agreement. The acquisition of Tech Foundations does not seem to be in question, but an amendment of the operation’s financial terms is now likely.

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