ON SEPTEMBER 22 Schlumberger Ltd announced that it had signed a binding agreement with IT services provider Atos Origin for the sale of the majority of the SchlumbergerSema businesses, including Transport which incorporates the former British Rail Business Systems.

If approved by Atos shareholders the transaction is expected to close in January 2004, with Schlumberger receiving €400m in cash and 19·3 million Atos shares, a total consideration of €1·29bn.

Schlumberger is retaining the Smart Cards & Terminals business, which has been renamed Axalto. This is active in the transport, telecommunications, finance and retail sectors.