Worldline Considers Job Cuts
On Wednesday, French online payments specialist, Worldline, announced the possible termination of more than 1,400 jobs, representing 8% of its 18,000 global workforce.
Potential Impact in France
The layoffs could potentially affect 330 of the company’s 4,000 employees based in France, according to a delegate from the French Confederation of Christian Workers (CFTC) union. However, Worldline has neither confirmed this figure nor denied it, stating its preference for allowing voluntary departures where possible.
Power24: Worldline’s Transformation Plan
These proposed job cuts are part of Worldline’s broader plan, Power24, announced in October. This plan aims to speed up the company’s transformation in response to macroeconomic changes in the digital payments sector. While the plan is expected to cost up to 250 million euros, it could potentially generate savings of around 200 million euros by 2025, with a significant increase in power during 2024.
Streamlining and Modernization
Worldline believes that the proposed job cuts will simplify the organization, reduce the complexity of its operations, and give managers a broader scope of supervision. The company also hopes that these changes will enable teams to operate more autonomously. Another aspect of the plan is to modernize the company and provide new payment services, such as through a partnership with Google established in mid-January.
Union Response to Job Cuts
One anonymous CFTC union representative from the company has called the proposed job cuts “quite sickening,” particularly as the company is currently doing well. The representative said, “It all doesn’t make much sense.”
Struggles in the Stock Market
In January, Crédit Agricole announced it would become a “long-term minority shareholder” in Worldline, which had been struggling on the stock market. The bank acquired a 7% share in the company.
Booming Market Valuation
Worldline, often compared by investors to a technology company, doubled its market valuation in about ten months during 2020. The online payments specialist capitalized on this prosperous period to acquire Ingenico, a global leader in the payment terminal market, for 7.8 billion euros.
Falling Out of the CAC 40
However, several factors—including rising interest rates, less cash generation, and significant breakdowns and difficulties in Germany, a crucial market for the company—have caused Worldline’s stock price to plunge. The company, a former subsidiary of Atos that became independent in 2019, was removed from the CAC 40 in early December. Around this time, rumors started circulating about the impending arrival of Crédit Agricole to the rescue.
A year and a half ago, Worldline experienced its first strike in France in 12 years. This social mobilization lasted four months before employees won a salary increase of approximately 100 euros per month for the 75% lowest paid employees. “In 2022, it was anger. In 2024, we are disillusioned,” summarized the same union delegate.