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Atos: demerger project maintained in face of activists

( - On Friday Atos reaffirmed its intention to go ahead with its demerger project, assuring that it had always acted in the group's social interest, after receiving criticism from activist investors.

The technology group said that its Board of Directors had met to study letters sent to it by certain shareholders up to 18 September.

It regrets that, rather than meeting with the company to express their views and obtain answers, these shareholders chose to publicise their concerns.

The press says that the activist fund CIAM is seeking to block the sale of Tech Foundations, its historic business, to Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, which is to be accompanied by a E900m capital increase at Eviden, its cybersecurity subsidiary.

Atos, which denounces the criticism as "unfounded", explains that it has replied to these letters, firmly denying the allegations.

This plays into the hands of short sellers and others whose interest is to see the company's share price fall, Atos says.

It adds that, if it considers it appropriate, it will not hesitate to take legal action to sanction any maneuvers aimed at upsetting the company.

In Paris, Atos shares were down over 2% on Friday morning following these statements, with over half the share's value wiped out over the last six months.

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