Smaller than his potential rivals on this issue, David Layani knew he had to shoot first to get an advantage. The founder of technology consultancy Onepoint announced on Tuesday September 27 his intention to buy Atos’ cybersecurity division called Evidian, which will be separated from the rest of the group.
The €4.2 billion proposal was quickly swept aside. “Not in the interest of society”, the board judged, surprised by the nervousness of this 43-year-old admirer. David Layani started from scratch 20 years ago and made numerous acquisitions to make his group a French reference in technology consulting. “But by aiming at Evidian, it’s the frog trying to make itself bigger[du 27 septembre] beef”, criticizes a close friend of Atos. Onepoint makes 400 million euros in annual sales, twelve times less than Evidian. The financing of the operation, drawn up by Grégoire Heuzé, a former banker at Lazard, and Crédit Agricole, with the support of the British investment fund ICG, is not convincing.
Orange and Thales are closely monitoring Atos, under the benevolent eye of the state, shareholder of the two groups, which is concerned that its cyber activities remain under the French flag.
The charge against David Layani of “complicity in the manipulation of witnesses” in one of the aspects of the suspected files of Libyan financing of Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential campaign in 2007 also weighed on Atos’ decision. David Layani, who did not comment WorldIn this case, she has always denied any embezzlement. And he is determined that this will not block his ambitions on Evidian. ” Suggestion [du 27 septembre] was just the first shot. There will be more”That promises a close friend of the leader.
But Onepoint will probably no longer be alone. His burglary aroused other interests. For months, Orange and Thales have been watching Atos closely under the benevolent eye of the state, shareholders of the two companies, concerned that its cyber activities remain under the French flag. Evidian, for example, is one of the few global manufacturers of supercomputers, an activity inherited when Atos acquired Bull in 2014. Neither Orange nor Thales want to comment officially on their appetite for Evidian.
On September 27, during a conference, Aliette Mousnier-Lompré, director of Orange Business Services, simply admitted that the operator “Check out all the options” With “the intention to be active” to establish itself as the European market leader in this business. At Thales, CEO Patrice Caine, advised by banker Matthieu Pigasse (indirect shareholder of World), chews on the teeth. “ Thales will only launch when Evidian is officially up for sale. This file cannot remain as it is for long.explains a close friend of the defense group.
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