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Airbus Pulls Out of Deal to Buy Atos Cybersecurity Unit

Atos shares tank after Airbus decides not to move ahead with discussions to acquire its cybersecurity business.

Airbus

Atos shares tanked on Tuesday after the IT company announced that Airbus has decided not to move forward with discussions related to the acquisition of Atos’ cybersecurity business.

Atos announced the possible sale of its Big Data and Security (BDS) business to Airbus in early January as part of its strategy for repaying and refinancing debts. Atos said at the time that it had received an offer valuing the BDS unit between €1.5 billion ($1.64 billion) and €1.8 billion ($1.97 billion). 

However, in a market update on Tuesday, Atos announced the end of discussions with Airbus regarding the potential sale of the cybersecurity unit.

The value of Atos shares dropped by more than 21% on Tuesday after the news broke.

“Atos is analysing the resulting situation and actively evaluating strategic alternatives that will take into consideration the sovereign imperatives of the French state,” Atos said. “Consequently, the Company is rescheduling its 2023 earnings release in the near future in order to evaluate strategic options.”

The first rumors of Airbus being interested in Atos’ cybersecurity unit emerged in 2022. The next year, Airbus made a bid for a 30% stake in the Atos’ Evidian (now Eviden) security business, but the plan was dropped due to opposition from some shareholders. Eviden now includes BDS and Atos’ cloud computing business.  

This is the second Atos deal to fall through in recent weeks. In late February, the IT giant ended attempts to sell its legacy managed infrastructure services business after failing to reach an agreement with a potential buyer. 

Related: Cisco Completes $28 Billion Acquisition of Splunk

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Related: SecurityWeek Analysis: Cybersecurity M&A Dropping, Over 400 Deals Announced in 2023

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Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a managing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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