Atos SE, the French IT services behemoth, was once considered the crown jewel in France's tech industry but in the past couple of years it has run into trouble by growing too fast and spreading itself too thin. The company came on our radar in summer 2022 when it embarked on a radical split into two companies – Eviden and Tech Foundation – in an effort to restructure the struggling businesses and put them on their own divergent recovery paths. But watching this angel stumble and fall and fumble its way through a change of strategy was painful.
In our two-part analysis, we take a deep dive into various aspects of Atos.
In Part 1 we look into the shock of the hidden debt stack and refinancing risk it poses. The need for a rescue and how Daniel Kretinsky (the Czech billionaire who swooped in with the intention to buy Tech Foundation) might not be everyone’s idea of a white knight. We assess the future of the Kretinsky deal and explain why the unsecured bonds are in a tailspin despite Atos claiming they have good liquidity.
In Part 2 we will delve into the full history of how the company got into distress. We tell the story of boardroom infighting and shakeups that pushed investor confidence to rock bottom, of strident shareholders who refuse to foot the bill, and of old suitors that may resurface to save the day. And finally we assess the company’s liquidity and targeted cap structure.