Atos Shares Surge After Walking Away From $6.5 Billion Rival DXC

Atos SE shares jumped the most in more than nine months as investors cheered its decision to walk away from a deal to buy U.S. rival DXC Technology Co.

Atos’s board of directors “unanimously determined not to pursue” the deal with DXC Technology, the company said in a statement Monday, confirming a Bloomberg News report. DXC’s board decided the Atos offer was inadequate and lacked certainty, the U.S. company said separately.

A deal with DXC would’ve been transformational for Atos, creating an IT giant with scale to better compete with the likes of SAP SE and Accenture Plc. But investors were taken aback by the size of the combination, people familiar with the matter had said. DXC may have been valued at more than $10 billion in a deal, Reuters had reported previously.

“Though the purchase would have given Atos scale to resist some pricing pressures, it wasn’t a perfect fit as the company looks to move toward high-growth digital services,” Tamlin Bason, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, said. “Atos’s decision to walk away from its proposed $10 billion acquisition of peer DXC Technology suggests that it’s opting against doubling down on legacy IT outsourcing services.”

Atos rose as much as 7.4% in Paris on Tuesday, the biggest intraday gain since April, giving the company a market value of 7.4 billion euros ($8.9 billion). The shares had previously declined 14% this year. DXC fell about 10% in late trading Monday, valuing the company at $6.5 billion.

“From the start, we considered the unsolicited and non-binding offer was far from a done deal, given the level of uncertainty prevailing on several topics and the extent of concern for many investors,” Gregory Ramirez, an analyst from Bryan Garnier, wrote in a note.

It’s the second big transatlantic merger to fall through this year. Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. walked away from a bid for grocer Carrefour SA last month after pushback from the French government.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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