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Atos has been in dire financial straits for several years. The French IT company needs a total investment of 1.2 billion euros, 600 million of which it hopes to secure through loans. With a new restructuring plan, the significant debts should be halved by 2026.

That amounts to 2.4 billion euros in paid-off loans. The company hopes to extend the maturities of current debts by five years. That will be necessary, since without such an extension it would have to pay off 3.65 billion euros this year, the vast majority of its debt bill of 4.7 billion euros.

The group consists of several divisions, whose financial performance varies widely. For example, the cloud component Eviden grew by 2 percent last year, while the service-oriented Tech Foundations unit shrank by 6 percent.

Glimmer of hope

There has been little positive to report about Atos in recent weeks. For example, deals with EPEI and Airbus fell through, while its credit rating has now been downgraded to B-, Bloomberg reports. Options for the company are rapidly running out. However, a small ray of hope appeared on Monday, as investment firm Butler Industries joined a consortium with Onepoint to rescue Atos. The plans are highly ambitious: the goal is to grow the company into Europe’s leading sovereign cloud operator.

Read more: French investor Butler Industries joins rescue attempt of Atos

Rescue of great importance

Further state aid may become the only option available if that consortium fails to reach a deal. The French government pledged in early February that it wanted to do everything possible to preserve Atos’ business. In any case, it has granted an additional 50 million euros to the company, while a group of banks and bondholders are contributing 400 million to keep Atos alive in the short term.

The French government’s rationale is clear: tens of thousands of Atos jobs are at stake. Employees of the company are also spread across dozens of countries, mainly in Europe.

Shareholders and outside investors can submit financial proposals until April 26. Soon after, Atos’s future should become much clearer.

Also read: Atos CEO Yves Bernaert resigns immediately over disagreement