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France is set to bid for parts of Atos in June. The French IT company could snatch up three components to the government.

The parts in question are Advanced Computing, Critical Systems and Cyber Products, all three under the wing of Atos’ BDS (Big Data & Security) division. Previously, potential agreements fell through to sell this component, the most recent example being discussions with Airbus. There is no deal yet, but a letter of intent has already been sent from a government-led consortium.

The acquisition amount looks like it would fall between 700 million euros and 1 billion euros. That is close to the approximately 1.2 billion euros Atos claimed it needs to survive until the end of 2025. That was already substantially more than the 600 million euros the company previously required.

However, it has now upped this amount to 1.7 billion euros, meaning even the potential deal wouldn’t be nearly enough to save the company.

Sovereign operations

The three components at hand employ around 4,000 people. Their work is of great strategic importance to the French state. Atos secures the communications of the French military and intelligence services and provides the government with the hardware infrastructure needed to process data on a large scale. In addition to developing AI, this work falls under “sovereign activities,” as French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire proclaimed to news channel LCI. Consequently, they need to remain in the hands of French entities. Given the fact a private acquisition is looking unlikely, Paris will have to act of its own accord.

The French state would not buy the Atos business on its own. Various anonymous parties are working with the government to act as a consortium.

Read also: Atos needs 1.2 billion euros to make it through 2025