Online payments provider Worldline is on course for an initial public offering (IPO) in the hope of raising €610 million for its expansion.

The move has been announced by Worldline owner Atos, a French IT services behemoth in its own right, which will be releasing €335 million of its own shares in the company to raise the required amount.

An additional €255 million worth of shares has been created from scratch and will be sold at a price between €16.40-€20. Atos has set a target of distributing around 25-30% of Wordline’s equity capital and says a need to focus on more pressing activities is behind the float.    

Impending sale

Even the strongest demand for shares will ensure Atos retains 70% of the company it has managed for over 40 years. A major provider of global payment solutions and supporter of online transactional activities, Wordline generated annual revenues of €1.1 billion in 2012 and currently employs over 7,000 workers across Europe.

The e-payments provider is now set to venture into the unknown as it prepares to spin out from its founder. Gilles Grapinet, CEO at the company, says the IPO represents an “exciting chapter” in its history.

He added: “It comes at a unique moment of opportunity for growth, thanks to the convergence of three phenomena: the digital and mobile revolution, the changes in the regulatory framework for the European payments sector and the shift in strategy by many banks following the financial crisis.”

Pastures new

As Wordline begins to contemplate working with new partners, Atos is also preparing to embrace fresh experiences.

A key player in the delivery of IT solutions across a number of sectors, including retail, healthcare and transport, the company is now planning on applying more focus to what it describes as ‘core activities’.

Reports suggest these include areas such as cloud computing as well as technology for allowing data to be accessed from remote locations