France's Atos to sell Worldgrid unit to Alten for about $290 million

FILE PHOTO: Logo of French IT consulting firm Atos, in Angers

(Reuters) -Debt-laden French tech group Atos said on Tuesday it has entered exclusive negotiations for selling its Worldgrid unit for an enterprise value of 270 million euros ($289.93 million) to engineering consulting group Alten.

The Worldgrid business, which provides consulting and engineering services to energy and utility companies, has close to 1,100 employees.

The proposed deal would ensure full continuity of service for the units' clients and employees, Atos said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Atos picked an offer to restructure its debt led by anchor investor David Layani, preferring it to a rival proposal from Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky.

Layani's pitch, which will massively dilute existing shareholders, centres on keeping Atos under French control and preserving jobs and assets despite the urgent need to restructure the group's 4.8 billion-euro debt.

($1 = 0.9313 euros)

(Reporting by Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)