France looks to take over key assets from troubled tech company Atos

Atos logo.
Atos logo. Copyright Atos
Copyright Atos
By Euronews
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The French government has sent a letter of intent to the heavily indebted technology company, offering to pay up to €1 billion for three key assets, to keep them in national hands.


Atos has confirmed it has received a non-binding letter of intent to the company over the weekend, offering up to €1 billion for the assets that are considered to be strategically important to France.

The divisions fitting into those categories are: Atos's Advanced Computing, Mission-Critical Systems and Cyber Products.

French army needs secure comms technology

The French army uses Atos' super calculators for quantum computing in connection with its nuclear weapons programme. It also uses the secure communications technology. In addition there are other cyber security assets it values.

The French government is worried that foreign investors, including hedge funds, could take control of Atos, which needs to restructure its €4.8bn gross debt, the Financial Times reported.

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire told news channel LCI on Sunday: "There are sovereign assets in Atos that must stay within the exclusive control of France.

"We have signalled our interest in acquiring all the strategic assets of Atos."

The assets the government has offered to buy account for some €900 million in annual revenues, less than 10% of the company's 2023 sales.

It employs 4,000 people, some 4% of the total workforce. 

Shares climb on news of cash hopes

The French maker of Rafael fighter jets, Dassault Aviation, had previously expressed interest in taking over some of Atos's assets, the FT revealed, adding that French defence electronics group Thales would be another potential group that had an interest. 

Atos says it needs some €1.7 billion in cash to support the company. That figures is significantly higher than the one it reported earlier in the month.

Shares in the company were up 17% in early trading following news of the government's interest.

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