Airbus Explores Acquisition of Atos’ Cybersecurity Division Amid Renewed Interest

Airbus Explores Acquisition of Atos' Cybersecurity Division Amid Renewed Interest

Airbus is reportedly in advanced talks with Atos to acquire its cybersecurity division, BDS, a critical asset securing communications for French military and intelligence agencies and building servers for supercomputers. The renewed interest comes after Airbus’s decision not to pursue a 29.9% stake in Atos’ division Evidian, which had previously caused a decline in Atos shares.

Shares of Atos surged by 21% following reports of the advanced discussions with Airbus over the BDS division. The potential acquisition would significantly develop France’s cybersecurity landscape, particularly as BDS is crucial in safeguarding national security interests.

The talks signal Airbus’s ongoing interest in Atos’ cybersecurity capabilities despite the opposition it faced from some investors earlier this year. Airbus had initially sought a minority stake in Evidian, later renamed Eviden, as part of a strategic partnership to enhance its capabilities in aerospace, driven by big data, connectivity, and high-power computing.

The earlier proposal, led by hedge fund manager Christopher Hohn, faced resistance from investors, citing concerns about the leverage associated with Evidian, which they believed could dilute the quality of Airbus’s business. Following the opposition, Airbus abandoned acquiring the stake in Evidian. Now, Airbus appears to be engaged in direct discussions with the Atos board regarding a potential narrower purchase of the BDS business. The move aligns with Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury’s emphasis on the increasing importance of big data, connectivity, and high-power computing in the aerospace industry.

While the deal for BDS is estimated to be worth €1.5-2.5 billion, it may face scrutiny over potential political motivations and the funding of Atos’ transformation plan. Atos, led by banker Jean-Pierre Mustier, has been navigating a series of setbacks and governance instability over the past year.

Airbus’s interest in acquiring BDS aligns with its broader strategy to focus on software-focused defense capabilities. The company is reportedly concerned about the potential absorption of Atos activities by rivals, such as Thales, a French defense electronics maker. Thales has denied any interest in acquiring a stake in Eviden. The outcome of the ongoing discussions could reshape the landscape of France’s cybersecurity sector and impact Airbus’s positioning in the evolving defense industry landscape.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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