Airbus confirms offer worth up to €1.8bn for Atos cyber security unit

Airbus confirms offer worth up to €1.8bn for Atos cyber security unit

The French technology company Atos has confirmed having received an indicative offer from Airbus to acquire BDS, the French company's data and cybersecurity business , with a value of between 1,500 and 1,800 million euros.

"The company will open a due diligence phase with Airbus whose indicative offer of an enterprise value of between 1,500 and 1,800 million euros refers to the entire perimeter of BDS ," Atos announced.

The technology group has warned that talks with Airbus are currently in a preliminary stage , so the company will inform the market about its results in due time.

Last November, speaking to the Financial Times , Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury made no secret of the group's ambition to "grow in the cyber field."

Airbus was in talks last year to buy a minority stake in Atos' Evidien division , which contains BDS and the French company's cloud computing business. However, he withdrew after hedge fund manager Chris Hohn, whose TCI fund is one of the plane maker's largest shareholders, objected to the plan .

Likewise, Atos noted that it had received a second non-binding expression of interest in BDS, although in this case, which it did not identify, the interest would be limited to only part of the BDS perimeter.

French defense electronics group Thales, which has fighter jet maker Dassault Aviation as its largest shareholder, has been interested in BDS in the past as part of its effort to expand its cybersecurity business and sources consulted by 'Financial Times' indicated that the company has been considering its options in recent weeks.

Atos shares, which had started the session with a rise of 12%, turned around and went negative as the mid-session approached to trade below 7 euros per share.

On the other hand, Atos has reported that exclusive negotiations continue with EPEI, the firm of Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, regarding the sale of Tech Foundations , after having announced last August that it would enter into exclusive negotiations with the Central European firm for the sale of the 100% of Tech Foundations, whose business value would be around 2,000 million euros.

"Discussions continue on the price to be paid, the structure of the transaction and the transfer of a very large proportion of Tech Foundations' liabilities," explained the Frenchwoman, warning that there is no certainty that these negotiations will result in an agreement.

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