Atos’s Worldline Prices Shares at Bottom of Range in France IPO

Worldline, the Atos unit seeking acquisitions to become Europe’s largest electronic payments company, has priced its shares at 16.40 euros each, valuing the company at 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion).

The shares were initially offered in a range of 16.40 euros to 20 euros. French computer-services provider Atos will keep a stake of about 70 percent. The shares will begin trading in Paris today, Worldline said in a statement. Atos may raise 406 million euros and Worldline raised 255 million euros.

The share sale was fully subscribed, people familiar with the matter said. 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.

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.

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