Atos Announces Acquisition of Unify
Atos, an IT services company located in France, is making a move on the Unified Communications market, with an offer to acquire Unify for €340 million ($371 million). With this acquisition, Atos aims to expand its range of digital offerings and enhance its portfolio of services for enterprise customers, better meeting the growing demand for UC.
Unify, which specializes in Unified Communications, is a joint venture between Siemens AG and The Gores Group. As Siemens also holds a 12% share of Atos, it will indirectly maintain a portion of Unify. Unify holds more than 3,000 technology patents, and makes about 2/3 of its revenue from services, with the rest coming from software and platforms.
Among the reasons Atos is drawn to Unify is the Unify’s WebRTC-based software-as-a-service offering known as “Circuit.” Circuit provides voice, video, and messaging services with HD audio and video quality, along with contextual search, social collaboration, content storage, and contact integration with other systems, all from a single application and user interface.
“After sitting in on a Unify webinar this week, I got the impression that they are starting to actively move their Siemens Openscape customers to their Unify ‘Circuit’ offering,” notes Art Rosenberg, UC Expert for UCStrategies. “That will require a tactical migration strategy, which may be what their new owners can help support.”
However, the overall cost to Atos may be more than just the purchase price. Upon the acquisition, Atos will take over Unify’s pension deficit of €200 million and net debt of €50 million. Overall, though, Unify still has an enterprise value of €590 million, or approximately $645 million. Additionally, Atos anticipates cost savings around €130 million by 2017, after a restructuring plan goes into effect, as well as overall increased earnings.
“Atos is a $11B company,” explains UC Expert Joseph Williams. “They paid $1B for Xerox’s Outsourcing business last year, and it makes sense that they would acquire Unify, as it is consistent with their growth model - what might be arguable is their purchase price.”
The acquisition is to be finalized in the first quarter of 2016. For more information, visit www.atos.net, www.gores.com, and www.siemens.com.