Atos’s Worldline Unit Unchanged in Market Debut in Paris

Worldline, the Atos (ATO) unit seeking acquisitions to become Europe’s largest electronic payments company, was unchanged in its Paris trading debut.

The shares closed at 16.40 euros, giving the company a market value of 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion). The shares sold at 16.40 euros, the bottom of an offered range, and fell as much as 2.4 percent before erasing those losses. French computer-services provider Atos may raise 406 million euros and Worldline raised 255 million euros, Worldline said today. Atos will keep a stake of about 70 percent.

Worldline joins French companies including credit insurer Coface SA, Euronext NV and social network Viadeo that are selling shares this year. Excluding Worldline, French IPOs have already raised about $5 billion in 2014, making it the busiest year for such offerings in the country since 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Worldline, whose customers include McDonald’s Corp., BNP Paribas SA and Bank of China Ltd., is seeking as much as 1 billion euros of deals in segments such as banking processes and services to retailers, to expand business.

In a fragmented market, operators range from EBay Inc.’s online money-transfer and payments service PayPal to Gemalto NV, which sells software to make transactions more secure. Worldline directly competes with companies including Nets, Vantiv Inc. and Global Payments Inc.

The shares were fully subscribed in the IPO, said people familiar with the matter.

Atos has split off the payments unit to focus on technologies such as cloud computing, which allows data to be accessed remotely via the Web. Last month, Atos offered to buy competitor Bull for about 620 million euros, underscoring demand for cybersecurity and cloud-computing services.

To contact the reporters on this story: Marie Mawad in Paris at mmawad1@bloomberg.net; Ruth David in London at rdavid9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net Robert Valpuesta, Mark Beech

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