Paul Saleh a fait plus de mensonges en 1 mois de DG Atos que Meunier en 4 ans de présidence. Ou presque…
Lors d’une conférence call en anglais, il a rassuré les 732 tops managers d’Atos que les liquidités étaient excellentes et que S&P allait prochainement upgrader la note tout juste dégradée.
Avec la dégradation ce vendredi 8 de S&P Ratings de B- à CCC, il n’en faut pas plus pour comprendre la vraie nature de Paul Saleh, un mercenaire assoiffé d’argent pour qui la fin vaut tous les moyens, y compris des mensonges éhontés à tous ses collaborateurs (et je ne parle même pas des actionnaires) !!!
Comme quoi, les médailles d’or, que ce soit pour le pinard ou pour les CFO, c’est toujours bidonné…
This is a certified transcription of the call of Paul Saleh, on January 19th with 732 Atos & Eviden top managers.
The blog owns the full sound recording as evidence.
We have decided to disclose it, as there are many information that should have been disclosed to the market and they are many lies from Paul Saleh about the reality in particular about the BDS deal.
Indeed, people close to the talks with Airbus think there is between 75% to 80% chances the BDS deal reach to a a final agreement, whereas when you listen to Paul Saleh, it sounds more like there is 95% chances.
Paul Saleh mislead his staff, about Atos capability to face his near term obligations and short term obligations.
We, at the blog Atos Bourse according our information, believe that Atos has only liquidity for its short term obligation and if the BDS deal doesn’t occur, Atos could be in a situation of claiming for the french equivalent of Chapter 11 protection (cessation de paiement), which of course would not go to a bankruptcy as such size of companies don’t bankrupt, they are dismantled.
Our internal information, which is of course not any official Atos communication is that the company is really short of cash and if the BDS deal doesn’t occur, Atos would have to delay of about a week, the march salaries and pay them in the first week of April instead of March 28th as usual.
The call is divided in one part which is the Paul Saleh speech and the other part is the Q&A with the managers that will be put online during the week-end.
PART 1/2 : Paul Saleh speach
PAUL : 0:00:00
During in January of 2023 on liquidity, we find ourselves just about a year away from major maturities coming due and particularly our bank debt. We have a billion five of bank debt that is maturing in January of 2025. But we also have maturities that are coming right after that. Some in May, 750 million. And then we have a revolver credit line of 900 million that also comes to be renewed sometime in November of 2025. So a series of maturities that we have to address. Originally, the plan that we had presented to the market was really meant to address all of these issues.
We were thinking about three main points. The first one was, as complete that sale of TF to EPI, in the process of that, we would be raising as a second step some capital in the form of equity. There were about 900 million of equity that we were going to be raising. And we were working with our banks to just get a new financing of about a billion euros and a renewal of our credit lines in the future that would have given us the ability to address all these maturities that I had mentioned.
So what’s changed? What’s changed is that the EPEI transactions is taking longer to close. We had all of our banks, not all of the banks, but our tier one banks aligned to really give us what we had asked from them. But we felt that we needed to move in different directions because we did not believe that we could actually raise capital fast enough from the equity. And we’re not 100% sure that whether or not our shareholders would approve a raising of capital.
And so as a result of that, during the late December timeframe and into the early part of January, we ended up agreeing with Airbus to sell our BDS business. That was not really our first choice from the very, very beginning. But however, realizing that we were coming within the window of about 12 months, we wanted to provide clarity for everyone that we had the means to address the maturities coming in, as I mentioned to you, starting in 2025 and January 25 with our banks. So the sale of BDS now is just really a key element in our refinancing plans in addressing what so many people term our liquidity. We have enough cash to meet our near term obligations throughout 2024.
So when you have to refinance the 1.5 billion, we did not have enough ability to just clarify how we would do that. So the sale of BDS just really enables us to do just exactly that. So the next step after that is just to work also with our banks to be able to refinance again the amount of debt that they have extended to us and is maturing in 2025. So we’re asking them to move out and give us a new financing that will basically replace the 1.5 that’s coming due in January and the revolver or the credit lines that is coming to expire in November of 2025, just really giving us new facilities that will extend in time, giving us time just basically to sell the BDS business and reimbursing them or paying down the obligations that we have with them. So when you go back and put it all in perspective and you say to yourself, well, what do I tell my clients?
The first one on the liquidity perspective, I realize that there’s a lot of uncertainty and over the next few months, we’re going to be providing clarity on that, meaning that we do have liquidity right now to meet our near term obligations. We are selling the BDS business to provide us with the capital in a sense to meet our maturities that are coming in 2025. And in addition to that, we’re working with our banks to extend basically their maturities in time.
So those are the three key elements to just reassure our clients that we’re going to be fine, we’re working to just really provide that clarity from a liquidity perspective. In the interim, unfortunately, it doesn’t really stop some of the stories that you’re going to read and that appear in the papers or on blogs or people thinking that we are in trouble. In fact, one thing I would add to our clients, if you’re talking to them, is that we went out of our way to provide them to provide the market with clarity that we are meeting our financial guidance. I think thanks to all of you, we met our revenue targets for 2023 across all three business groups and lines of business. We also met the guidance that we gave them on profitability.
And we also came slightly short of our objective of having flat free cash flow in the second half of the year we came in, we missed it by about 100 million, we believe. We’ll know more about it, but it’s just about 100 million, some of it due to deals that slipped into this new year. So net-net liquidity is going to be fine. We’re working, we have a plan, we’re executing on that plan. Second of all, we do have liquidity or cash on the balance sheet to just really meet our near term requirements.
[Ndlr: according blog information it is more likely short-term obligations and not near-term.]
Lastly, we have the business is meeting its guidance as we have said publicly. So we want to reassure our clients as well as our employees that we have the means to continue to commit to meet our commitments to them, to reinvest in the business, to attract and retain the talent that’s necessary to support their business. And I realize that we can say it, but until we do it, it’s not going to really lift the uncertainty that comes with this environment. So let me also mention therefore a couple of other things that are happening right now. The next thing that a client is going to ask is, well, how about this separation and the sale of Tech Foundation and where do we stand there? Are we going to just really be able to do it?
My point a little bit to you there is that it’s been much harder than we had anticipated. We were hoping to get this whole thing wrapped up by the end of the year of 2023 is turning out to drift and it’s because of some of the complexity of the terms that we were asking the other party to accept and revise. Some of them were designed to be simplifying areas. In other cases, they were designed to clarify terms that were not as well articulated.
And in some other areas, we were just asking for additional compensation, given the fact that the deal itself was going to be extending into instead of closing in end of 2023, it was going to happen in some time in the March, April timeframe. So those things individually may be solvable, but you take them collectively. The other party was really pretty slow at accepting many of these terms. And we have not yet reached a point where I can tell you with confidence that we’re going to get there. And we’re preparing the market to say, you know, we may not, given all these uncertainty, we may not be able to conclude this transaction as we had originally anticipated and we will know that over the next few weeks.
So expect us to just really provide updates on the market. Hopefully we’ll be able to close it. If not, then we will be coming back and say that those that deal may not happen. Let’s also I know a lot of you will say, well, what then what would happen? What would we tell our clients? I think Carlo and I are working on that. I would tell you right now what we’ve been just focusing on and Carlos taking the lead on that is that we will continue whatever happens to operate separate businesses for the time being. And we will leverage, we’ll put a plan in place to leverage the combined capabilities that we have with the two businesses to serve our clients and win new business. One thing that we realized when we were talking to our negotiation with EPEI is that there was a benefit to having the two companies understand the perimeters of each other.
But also we were realizing that we’re missing on opportunities because we were not really leveraging each other’s strength in providing services to some clients. And we’re trying to go at it alone in some cases. And in doing so, we were missing the mark and our clients were just really not necessarily confused, but finding that they could, you know, we would on a standalone basis, each one of us in the businesses be less effective than if we were together seeking opportunities.
So whether we do the EPEI transactions or we do not do the EPEI transactions, we’re going to continue to try to put a plan in place to leverage the capabilities of the two businesses so that on a combined basis we would be better off than going at it alone. So, Net, what can I also tell you is happening? So we had our meeting with the banks this week. We expect now to be dealing with the banks in the coming weeks. I think our objective is to have something clarified sometime in the March, April timeframe. I think publicly it’s March.
I believe that that’s the objective anyway to move as fast as possible because we recognize that with this uncertain environment, many of our clients are going to be, you know, have choices and they may just really say, well, I have to commit this business to someone and I’m not really sure where you’re going to be. And they may just really push to go somewhere else or delay decisions.
So we recognize all of these things. And we’ve been pushing our banks and even our Airbus as well to just move as fast as possible so that all these transactions can be clarified very, very rapidly. So banks, we’re meeting with them. We’ve met with them. They’ve organizing or meeting with them all throughout next week and with the objective of getting something by the March timeframe.
We also have started the engaging with the BDS for the sale of the BDS business. So in a confirmatory due diligence, it’ll start in earnest next week and we will have management presentation with the objective of trying to get a binding agreement by the mid March to late March timeframe. And then the business, if approve, if sorry, if we reach that final binding agreement and the pricing, then it will be subject to regulatory approval until it closes. So it’ll take probably anywhere between nine to 12 months before this transaction actually indeed close.
Which leads me actually to on this front to ask each one of you, because you just really lead the troops in front of clients to continue to operate as if the business is ours because it is still ours. OK, so we are going to continue to offer services and to integrate offerings of cyber security or other type of artificial intelligence or other things that are part of the BDS business. We will continue to offer them to our clients. That’s the objective, right? We’re not moving away from that. Consider it part of the family of offering that we have.
And also understand that we will work with Airbus to come up with a partnership that will maintain that continuity of services that we’re providing to our clients and also impacting the product roadmaps that we need for our own business. So we are not going to be cut off from the ability to totally leverage the BDS capabilities that would be conveyed to Airbus. And we’ve been talking to them. We haven’t inked yet the partnership, but it is part of our objective and Carlos taking a very, very attentive look at what construct will that take. Same thing, I think on the TF side, I think we’re going to continue to, as I mentioned earlier, just really find ways of combining forces, whether it’s on the cloud pursuits or on modernization so that our clients doesn’t really think, you know, which way should I go? We’ll try to just really ease that for them in going forward.
So take a kick away liquidity. We understand the issue of refinancing. We’re working on it.
We have enough cash to deal with obligations near term.
We’re performing as we have indicated and meeting the guidance that we have given. Hey, there are some deals that we have to execute on. That be still up in the air.
BDS is in due diligence and we’re going to proceed with that. We have confidence that this thing is going to close and we’ll keep updating our clients as fast as possible, realizing that time is our enemy in this environment.
And lastly, I expect the rating agencies to downgrade us further because from their perspective, it is less about our fundamental position in the marketplace as much as the uncertainty, whether or not this BDS sales will take place, whether the banks are going to be refinancing us or not. So in an element of uncertainty, the rating agencies take a view that’s what they’re paid for. They take a very, very conservative and even cynical view of outcomes. So they will downgrade us further. And if they do, they will also say in their report that they will upgrade us if and when we announce the sale of BDS and the refinancing with our banks. Right.
[Ndlr: Paul, you forgot to mention S&P could also downgrade… It is said clearly in their communiqué.]
So this is it. In a nutshell, I know that is a lot of information coming your way. I think the one take in summary and I’ll take any questions you may have. First and foremost, thank you. I cannot tell you how much we appreciate the board. Carlo and I appreciate all the effort that you’re doing. We recognize your own incredible pressure to be able to deal with clients as well as employees and competitors that are going after our business. And we’re counting on you to hold the fort for us to hold the position for us and calm everyone around you and including family members. I may be asking who what’s really going on with a toss.
Thirdly, just know that we are working to answer those questions very, very rapidly and give everybody a comfort that we have a resolution that the business will be fine and we will be able to resume the execution of the strategies that we had pursued. Maybe not exactly how we had hoped it from the very beginning, but it will be in a construct that makes sense for our employees, for our clients, as well as for our shareholders.
And lastly, we have to continue to operate from a business perspective, just really working hand in hand with our BDS colleagues and hand in hand with our TF and Everton colleagues to make sure that we are just really integrating the offering in front of the customers, that we just really give them the best that we’ve always had bringing a toss together as a company in front of the customers, even though we’re going to continue to operate separate businesses and some businesses may be conveyed to a third party. We will just really always work to preserve the strength that came from having these products all integrated.
All right, with that, I’m just going to thank you and turn it over to, I think maybe, if I remember, maybe Paul or Carlo may have some comments they want to add, but otherwise we’ll take your questions. No, there was one comment from Paul, I think. Paul, you want to take the word? Yeah, thank you. Confirm. Thanks, team.
Senses of Sales community, we’re all on the phone.
PAUL PETERSON : 0:17:22
I just take one moment to remind you that deals signed in 23 and 24. Need to be uploaded in ACM. So, this is part of the requirement for it to count towards your commission and BSC payments. And we’re a bit late. In fact, quite late for 2023. So, I offer you all a grace period at the beginning of next week. It only takes a few minutes to upload the contract. Let’s make certain, and I would ask you to get that done rapidly so that there’s no discount in the future. So, please, a few minutes Monday, Tuesday, and let’s clean that backlog and then keep it rapidly updated as you’re closing and signing contracts in 2024. So, thank you for that.
Thank you for doing it. I have to say, if I add to our BDS friends, it’s important for the data room. So, we do need absolutely this to be done by Tuesday because, I mean, we need all those elements to form our data room as well. So, it’s important. Thank you very much.
followed by Part 2/2 : Q&A from managers.
Restez automatiquement averti à chaque nouvel article du blog, au rythme maximal de 3 fois par semaine. Inscrivez-vous à notre NEWSLETTER. Cliquez ici. Vous pourrez vous désinscrire à tout moment. Nous utilisons un pluggin officiel WordPress agréé CNIL.