French state wants to retain Atos at all costs

French state wants to retain Atos at all costs

The French state wants to retain the strategic activities of Atos by “all possible means”. This was stated by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire in a recent interview with French newspaper Les Echos.

According to French Minister Le Maire, the state wants to guarantee that the strategic activities of the IT group Atos remain in French hands. The efforts are given because Atos foresees ten thousand jobs in France. Another 100,000 employees work for the company in the rest of the world.

The French government is prepared to use all the resources at its disposal for this purpose. Atos’ operations must, in other words, be maintained at all costs. What resources the Minister is exactly referring to, is not known.

Sale to Airbus favoured

Atos and Airbus have been in talks for some time about selling the IT services provider’s Big Data & Cybersecurity (BDS) business unit. This would involve a full acquisition of these operations. A sale of these activities to the Airbus group is the French state’s first preference.

Talks with Airbus have already reached a stage where both parties are starting a due diligence process, in which a careful analysis of the other party is done. An offer that would be between 1.5 and 1.8 billion euros has also already been made.

Resolving debt issues

Atos has recently come under fire from its creditors. Recently, the company indicated that it was busy refinancing its debts. Atos’ enterprise value took another hit due to debt problems late last week, falling to a value of 438 million euros. In 2020, the value of the large French IT services provider was still 8.2 billion euros.

Also read: Atos tries to refinance outstanding debts