Atos Origin CEO Philippe Germond has confirmed on an earnings call that the firm is on the short list of bidders for Italian electronic payments group SIA-SSB.
The IT services company wants to merge the group into its Atos Worldline unit to become the European leader in the transaction processing business. It hopes to achieve sales of 1.5 billion euros and an operating margin of over 15 per cent in the next three years and confirmed it was on the short-list of bidders for Italian electronic payments group SIA-SSB.
"We are candidates. We have been selected for the second round, we are interested," said Germond .
SIA-SSB group consists of a number of companies specialising in network services, card processing, payment systems and capital markets back-office and surveillance systems. The company is currently majority owned by two Italian banks, Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit Group, with a number of other bank and telecom owners.
This year it appointed Citi as an advisor to help it find parties interested in buying the company.
As well as outlining its plans in European transaction processing, Atos also vowed to sell 250 million to 500 million euros worth of non-strategic assets, mostly in Latin America and Asia, and focus on businesses generating high margins and recurrent cash flow.
Leaving aside revenue from disposals, including the sale of its share of the the Atos Euronext joint venture, third quarter revenue amounted to EUR1,329 million representing an organic growth of 5.3 per cent. On a year-to-date basis, revenue reached EUR4,072 million with organic growth at 6.3 per cent.
The company slightly downgraded its 2008 fiscal year outlook from an operating margin of 5.6 per cent to 5.5 per cent, but this is still up from 4.5 percent in 2007.
Full financial results are available on the Atos Origin website.