Atos Considers Using Worldline Stock to Pay Investors

(Bloomberg) -- French computer-services provider Atos SE is weighing giving shareholders a payment in the form of stock in its listed subsidiary Worldline SA, according to people familiar with the matter.

Atos, which owns about 51 percent of Worldline, may give investors part of its stake as a special payout, the people said, asking not to be named as the discussions aren’t public. The company may also consider reducing its stake in Worldline over time by selling shares on the market, the people said. No final decisions have been made and plans could change, they said. Atos is scheduled to hold its investor day on Wednesday.

A representative for Atos declined to comment.

Shares in Atos have dropped about 41 percent in the past year, giving the company a market value of about 8.1 billion euros ($9.3 billion), while Worldline has climbed about 6 percent, valuing the firm at almost 8.7 billion euros.

The parent company cut its earnings forecast in October, citing a disappointing performance from its infrastructure and data management unit in the U.S. and Germany. Atos last year also acquired Syntel Inc. in a $3.4 billion cash deal to help it better access financial customers in the U.S.

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