Airbus, the European plane maker, is currently engaged in discussions to purchase Atos's cybersecurity unit, BDS. The indicative offer for the business stands at a value of up to 1.8 billion euros ($1.97 billion), which includes debt.
This development comes nearly a year after Airbus's attempt to acquire a minority stake in the Atos division that houses the cybersecurity unit fell through.
Atos, the French IT group, announced on Wednesday that it is engaged in preliminary talks with Airbus regarding the potential sale of its entire BDS business. Atos also revealed that it will now proceed with a due diligence phase. According to Atos, Airbus has made an indicative offer with an enterprise value ranging from EUR1.5 billion to EUR1.8 billion.
Airbus has confirmed that it submitted a nonbinding proposal for the acquisition of Atos's big data and security business. However, it is important to note that discussions are still subject to due diligence and there is no guarantee that they will lead to a final agreement, according to Airbus.
If the acquisition goes through, Airbus believes that incorporating BDS into its defense and security portfolio will strengthen its capabilities in cybersecurity, advanced computing, and artificial intelligence.
Atos has disclosed that it received two letters expressing nonbinding interest in BDS. However, one of these letters only pertains to a specific part of the unit's operations.
Due to changing market conditions, Atos has been compelled to reduce the size of a planned capital increase for Eviden, the division which includes BDS. Consequently, the company is considering additional asset sales, with a potential deal potentially helping Atos reduce its debt.
Atos has also been engaged in ongoing discussions with EP Equity Investment, an investment company led by Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, regarding the sale of its Tech Foundations division. Although not certain, Atos remains open to the possibility of selling additional assets if the transaction with EP Equity Investment does not proceed.