Channel investors, Content, Identity

Atos Declines to Sell Identity and Access Management Security Business to Private Equity Firm

Credit: Atos

Atos -- the large but struggling French IT consulting firm -- has rejected an unsolicited offer to sell its identity and access management (IAM) security business -- known as Evidian -- to Onepoint and private equity fund ICG.

The offer price had an enterprise value of €4.2 billion ($4.11 billion), Atos disclosed. In a statement about the unsolicited offer, Atos said:

"Following the thorough examination of this preliminary and non-binding mark of interest, and upon the recommendation of its ad hoc committee, the Board of Directors has convened and unanimously concluded that it is not in the interest of the Company and its stakeholders. The Board of Directors has therefore decided not to proceed."

Atos Breakup? Familiar Rumors

Rumors about Atos selling some or all of its IT consulting business assets have swirled off and on for more than a year. An Atos breakup plan from June 2022 calls for Evidian to be publicly held. The Evidian unit is growing — generating revenue of €4.9 billion (US$5.11 billion) in 2021, up 5% organically from 2020, and delivering a 7.8% operating margin, Atos indicated in June 2022. Still, the breakup plan apparently re-ignited bidder interest in the various Atos assets.

Back in mid-2021, Cinven was among the private equity firms interested in acquiring Atos, Unquote reported. KKR, Advent International and Bain may also have given the business a look, the Unquote report added in August 2021.

The Atos cybersecurity business has generated buyout rumors multiple times in recent months. Potential suitors apparently included Airbus and Thales, according to reports in early 2022.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.