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Airbus SE, the Toulouse, France-based aviation company, has started preliminary discussions for the acquisition of Atos SE’s cybersecurity and data unit. The enterprise value of the business could be as high as €1.8B ($2B).

  • Primary Objective: Airbus aims to accelerate its digital transformation and fortify its defense and security offerings with this acquisition.
  • Current Progress: Airbus has clarified there’s no certainty these discussions will culminate in an agreement. The due diligence phase will follow.
  • Other Suitors: Atos reports interest from another undisclosed party, with Thales SA also reportedly contemplating an offer.
  • Atos Status: Atos has seen its shares plummet approximately 90% in the last three years. The company is in active negotiations with Daniel Kretinsky’s EPEI for the sale of its legacy Tech Foundations unit.
  • Plans for Cash Flow: Atos is considering other means to raise cash, including additional asset sales, which would significantly surpass the previously set target of €400M.
  • Debt Repayment: Over the next two years, Atos faces debt repayments exceeding €2B, including a €500M bond due in November and a €1.5B loan maturing in January 2025. The company also has €750M in bonds maturing later next year.

The acquisition, if successful, would mark a significant milestone in Airbus’s digital transformation journey, while also providing Atos with the much-needed cash infusion to tackle its financial woes.

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