November 26, 2007 / 5:34 PM / 12 years ago

Atos, Euronext Confirm in Talks on Dismantling JV

PARIS (Reuters) - NYSE Euronext NYX.PA and Atos Origin (ATOS.PA) said they were in talks that could bring to an end their Atos Euronext Market Solutions (AEMS) joint venture, which provides IT services to stock exchanges.

In an e-mail to Reuters from Tokyo, where he is traveling on business, NYSE Euronext Deputy CEO Jean-Francois Theodore said French IT services group Atos had proposed Euronext pay for control of all AEMS business linked to stock exchanges while Atos keeps all activities linked to clearing and banks’ back office business.

“That is the solution we are discussing for the moment but the discussions have not yet ended,” Theodore said, confirming a report in La Tribune newspaper.

La Tribune said the two sides had yet to agree on a price. Atos Origin was asking for 200 million euros for the business which has annual revenue of 220 million euros, while NYSE Euronext was offering 150 million euros, the paper said.

Earlier this month the chief executive of Atos (ATOS.PA) acknowledged that his group was in talks with NYSE Euronext over the future of AEMS. He said that various scenarios were under review, including the sale by Atos Origin of its 50 percent in the joint venture.

An Atos spokeswoman repeated on Monday: “There are discussions” but declined to go into details or comment on La Tribune’s report. She said Atos hoped for a deal by year-end.

Theodore said Euronext had originally proposed a more limited operation, where it would have internalised only the bits of the joint venture it needed for its own business. He said it was Atos which wanted a more clear cut solution.

He said if the deal came to fruition NYSE Euronext would keep AEMS technicians based in Paris and London who are responsible, respectively, for cash and derivative activities. Euronext’s trading platform would also continue to use Atos services.

Reporting by Raoul Sachs and Dominique Vidalon

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