HomeStockAtos' M&A prospects hold within the stability of French authorities By Reuters

Atos’ M&A prospects hold within the stability of French authorities By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The brand of French defence and electronics group Thales is seen at an workplace constructing on the monetary and enterprise district of La Protection in Courbevoie close to Paris, France, January 31, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier/File Picture


(Corrects thirteenth paragraph of Feb 3 article to say Elie Girard departed, not that he was ousted)

By Mathieu Rosemain and Julien Ponthus

PARIS (Reuters) – The French authorities holds the ultimate keys to any transfer to purchase the BDS cybersecurity division of France’s Atos, business sources and analysts mentioned, after French defence firm Thales was reported to be devising a break-up plan.

Atos mentioned on Thursday that its cybersecurity arm, BDS, was not on the market after sources instructed Reuters that Thales was engaged on a plan to purchase the enterprise, having approached non-public fairness companies about exploring a joint provide and break-up.

Atos, fashioned partly by a string of acquisitions made underneath former CEO Thierry Breton, now EU business chief and a former French finance minister, has deep hyperlinks to France’s safety world during which the state has the final word say over tie-ups.

Atos secures communications for the French army and secret providers and manufactures servers to make supercomputers in a position to course of troves of information for analysis or to develop the nascent synthetic intelligence business.

“The true query is about Atos future and that is actually a political one,” mentioned Mikael Jacoby, who heads continental European gross sales buying and selling at Oddo Securities.

“I feel that situation will keep on traders’ thoughts even when within the brief time period there’s nothing to anticipate,” he added, saying that curiosity from purchasers had gone down after Thales denied contemplating a bid for your entire Atos group.

Atos shares fell round 7% on Thursday after rising 10% on Wednesday.

One in all Atos’ oldest purchasers is France’s CEA, the nation’s atomic power fee, which it helped simulate nuclear missile exams. It additionally inherited confidential know-how by means of the 2014 buy of Groupe Bull, business sources say.

It received a contract to assist construct a supercomputer in India, a rustic with which France has strengthened its partnership on defence and safety.

“That is extremely strategic and a matter of sovereignty,” mentioned a supply near Atos, with the regards to the Indian contract. “Similar to nuclear submarines.”


The largest producers of supercomputers servers are IBM (NYSE:) and Hewlett Packard, each U.S.-based corporations.

French President Emmanuel Macron has made the matter of ‘digital sovereignty’ a high precedence as France presides the European Union till June. A ministerial convention on “constructing digital sovereignty in Europe” is scheduled early subsequent week.

“We observe all French corporations intently,” a spokesperson for the Finance Ministry mentioned when requested in regards to the scenario at Atos, whose shares have misplaced half of their worth over the past 12 months following a string of setbacks that led to the departure of Breton’s successor, Elie Girard.

Thales has lengthy coveted the cybersecurity property of Atos, which it beat to the acquisition of Gemalto (AS:) in 2019, however whether or not it will possibly discover an agreed resolution stays a puzzle, analysts mentioned.

It mentioned on Wednesday it might doubtlessly be fascinated about any cybersecurity actions that had been on gross sales, including that no discussions had been underneath means with Atos.

Cybersecurity is a part of a cluster of sectors topic to further authorities approval the place international bidders are concerned.

“If Thales needed to bid for the entire of Atos as a French firm and get rid of property it didn’t need corresponding to IT providers, that may not pose a major problem,” a senior French business supply mentioned.

“Placing throughout a proposal along with international funds after which breaking it up is a unique dialogue,” he added.

Thales dominated out any curiosity in the entire of Atos on Wednesday.

One in all Thales’ two high traders is the French state, which can also be its greatest buyer. This case makes the choice of a hostile bid tough to ponder.

“Thales is the state and it is usually Dassault, which might not go towards the state,” the senior business supply mentioned.

(Corrects thirteenth paragraph of Feb 3 article to say Elie Girard departed, not that he was ousted)



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments