French aerospace giant Airbus could acquire Atos’ cybersecurity unit for up to $2 billion, the IT company announced on Wednesday.
The possible sale of its Big Data and Security (BDS) business was announced by Atos in a market update outlining its strategy for repaying and refinancing financial debts.
The potential deal is at a preliminary stage, but Atos said it will initiate a due diligence phase after receiving an offer valuing BDS between €1.5 billion ($1.64 billion) and €1.8 billion ($1.97 billion).
Atos shares fell after the company made the announcement.
The first rumors of Airbus being interested in Atos’ cybersecurity business emerged in March 2022. Nearly one year later, Airbus made a bid for a 30% stake in the Atos’ Evidian security business, which would later become Eviden. Some shareholders expressed opposition and the plan was dropped.
The Eviden brand now includes BDS as well as Atos’ cloud computing business.
In a statement, Airbus said, “The acquisition of BDS could significantly accelerate the digital transformation of Airbus, enhance the company’s defence and security portfolio with strong capabilities in cyber, advanced computing and artificial intelligence.”