Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Peace breaks out at Atos Origin?

Further to my post yesterday - Atos Origin turns from farce to tradegy - it appears that the warring parties have seen some sense and come to an agreement which I have reproduced in full below. Barring mass suicide, the option taken is the only viable one.

Other than the reappointment of Bernard Bourigeaud to the Atos board, the Atos board has capitulated to ALL the demands of the activists.

But, let's be clear, anyone who thinks that Atos Origin will now fade from the headlines to continue its business in peace is living in cloud cuckoo land. The activists were only involved in Atos Origin to get the management to consider selling and/or breaking up the company so that they could make a return on their investment in 23% of the equity. That must clearly still be their objective. The key part of the statement is the formation of the Strategic Review Committee where the activist representatives, plus the guy from Boston Consulting, will have a big influence (control?). So the For Sale signs are not only still out on Atos Origin but they have now been lit up in neon.

I spoke with Keith Wilman, CEO of Atos Origin UK, a few minutes ago. As he said, he just wants "to put this nonsense behind us". Keith craves some stability and wants to "get back to business". Although he hasn't detected any really evidence of customer wobbles (yet) Keith has experienced concerns amongst staff he has attempted to recruit.

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