“Atos Negotiating Big Data & Security Partnership with Airbus: Consultancy.eu Reports”


Atos-Airbus Deal on the Horizon: What Is the French IT Giant Selling?

The French IT consulting and technology giant Atos has revealed that it has entered into talks with the world-renowned aircraft manufacturer Airbus for the sale of its Big Data & Security division. With the latest negotations taking place, the deal could deliver Atos up to €1.8 billion in proceeds.

What Is Atos Offering in This Deal?
Atos has disclosed that they have received two non-binding offers for their Big Data & Security division. Currently sitting within the company’s Eviden business (which has an annual revenue of €5.3 billion), the Big Data & Security division has received a lot of attention in recent months. Last September, the unit was offered an acquirement from two investors- technology consultancy Onepoint and British private equity fund ICG- however, the board of Atos rejected the offer.

This time, Atos has apparently started a due diligence phase with Airbus, who has shown interest in buying the entire Big Data & Security division at an estimated enterprise value of between €1.5 billion and €1.8 billion.

What Are Atos’ Motives for the Deal?
Atos is currently in the process of a major asset disposal program and also needs to secure new financing in order to fulfill the repayments of its maturing debt between 2024 and 2029- a combined total of €4.8 billion. Selling off parts of the business is a key part of the company’s financial restructuring plan, with Atos also looking to optimize their working capital and the listing of both Eviden and Tech Foundations.

In a statement released this morning, Atos CEO Yves Bernaert advises that the company is now reassessing whether the moves it is making will be sufficient to cover its maturing debts.

What Does Airbus Hope to Gain From This Deal?
If the deal with Airbus goes through, it will be fulfilling the company’s long-publicized ambition to grow its cybersecurity operations- which they’ll be able to do by particularly enhancing their defense and security portfolio with strong capabilities in cyber, advanced computing, and artificial intelligence. An Airbus spokesperson revealed that they are looking to increase their European aerospace, defense, and cybersecurity leadership, and also that this deal could potentially accelerate their digital transformation and support the company in reaching their decarbonization roadmap.

Who Is the Potential Second Buyer?
While the parties involved in the second interest remain undisclosed, Atos has reportedly stated that the potential buyer has expressed interest in “part of” the Big Data & Security division.

What’s Happening With the Tech Foundations Business?
Atos is still in discussion with EPEI, an investment vehicle owned by Czech billionaire energy magnate Daniel Kretinsky, over the sale of its Tech Foundations business. Valued at an enterprise value of €2 billion, the deal was said to be closed in the final quarter of 2023 or the first quarter of 2024, though as of this morning, the negotiations are taking longer than anticipated.

At the same time, EPEI is attempting to invest significantly in Eviden, as part of a wider share issue worth €900 million- though Atos has confirmed that they are currently examining with EPEI the legal and financial conditions under which the latter could be released, in whole or in part, from its commitment to participate.

Atos is well into its financial restructuring journey, and the potential sale of its Big Data & Security division to Airbus could greatly accelerate the process. With both parties undergoing due diligence at the moment and with the second buyer remaining anonymous for now, only time will tell what the outcome of the deal will be.