Largest shareholder will save sinking Atos

2.9 billion in debt will be converted into shares for Onepoint.

Ailing IT group Atos has accepted a rescue proposal from a group led by consultancy firm Onepoint. The French-Belgian Econocom founder Jean-Louis Bouchard is also part of this group.

Under this plan, 2.9 billion euros in debt will be converted into share capital and the company will receive 1.5 billion euros in new credit.

With an eleven percent stake, Onepoint was already the largest shareholder of the French Atos, which also provides IT services to companies and government organizations in Belgium.

If the plan goes ahead, the company will own 21 percent of Atos, thanks to a capital injection of 175 million euros. A group of creditors contributes another 75 million euros in capital and acquires nine percent of the shares. Existing shareholders will see their stake diluted to less than 0.1 percent.

Czech businessman Daniel Křetínský also made a bid to save Atos. But the IT group writes that Onepoint’s proposal would be most beneficial for its employees and customers, including the French army. This plan also received the most support from Atos creditors.

The plan should strengthen the balance sheet and provide Atos with sufficient financial resources for the short term. The parties hope to reach a final agreement in July.

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