Unknown shareholder: Atos decides to refer to the AMF

  •   01/06/2021 - 08h40
  •   DEHOUI Lionel

For some time, Atos ATOS.PA has been facing a number of compatibility issues with two of its US units. Recently, the group announced that it has filed a complaint with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers regarding an unknown shareholder. The shareholder, whose identity is still unclear, said that he holds 5% of Atos' capital.

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Unknown shareholder: Atos decides to refer to the AMF

Atos suspects a hoax

The French company, which specialises in digital services, said it was worried by Finsur's statement. It also doubts the authenticity of the documents confirming the participation of the American firm in its capital. As a result, Atos has decided to file a complaint with the French National Financial Prosecutor's Office (PNF). The reason for this complaint is the dissemination of misleading and false information by Finsur.

For the company, the AMF was contacted because there were many doubts about the veracity of Finsur's allegations. Moreover, its declaration of crossing the threshold is not verified. Indeed, on May 17, the AMF published a notice that mentioned Finsur's note. The latter stated that the firm now holds 5.08% of Atos' capital, making it one of the main shareholders.

However, five days later, the AMF published a new note stating that Finsur was now below the 5% threshold. According to the information, after a series of purchases and sales of shares, it has dropped from 5.08% to 4.23%.


Atos falls 26%

Finsur was a company legally registered with the clerk of the commercial court in Orleans (Loiret). But on February 18, 2020, it was deregistered, according to Infogreffe. However, before the deregistration, the owner Dylan Dariah had taken care to create another company the day before, called Tinance Investment.

Moreover, this case does not come at a good time, as Atos is currently facing accounting difficulties. Accounting errors have been noticed in two of its American subsidiaries. This is a delicate situation for the group, which has decided to review the balance sheets of these two units.

After the communication of these discoveries, the group's share price plummeted. Thus, since the beginning of the year, Atos is down more than 26%, or a loss of nearly 06 billion euros. More information will certainly be provided on this issue when the first half results are presented.


A difficult period for Atos

Already weakened, Atos finds itself confronted with a mysterious shareholder that has been declared legally, but about which it has no information. Of course, it is legal to declare oneself to the AMF, but the responsibility for this declaration lies solely with Finsur. In fact, the AMF does not verify the authenticity of this type of declaration.

This being the case, Finsur's claim may still be a false story or a front. In both cases, the phantom shareholder still managed to shake up the CAC 40 company.

Added to this are the accounting errors of its two American subsidiaries, which account for 11% of its consolidated turnover. This situation led the majority of Atos shareholders to reject the group's consolidated accounts at the last AGM.