Mar 29, 2023
Airbus Says It’s No Longer In Talks for Stake in Atos’s Evidian
(Bloomberg) -- Airbus SE said that it will no longer pursue a minority holding in Atos SE’s Evidian, ending a bid to buy a stake in the spinoff of its cybersecurity, cloud and supercomputing businesses.
Acquiring a 29.9% stake in Evidian “does not meet the company’s objectives in the current context and under the current structure,” an Airbus spokesman said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. The companies will continue to discuss other potential options, it said.
The offer had been criticized by some Airbus shareholders after it was disclosed last month. TCI Fund’s Chris Hohn said the purchase would represent an “extremely inefficient” use of funds and distract management at a time when it needs to focus on meeting delivery targets.
French media BFM previously reported that Airbus wanted to renegotiate the price of Evidian. Airbus didn’t want to invest €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) in Evidian without controlling it, according to the report, which cited unidentified people close to the aviation giant.
Atos shares fell as much as 18% to €10.58 in Paris trading, the most since June.
Atos said in a statement Wednesday it will “explore other options” with Airbus and “pursue the work on the long term strategic and technological partnership between Airbus and Evidian which has the potential to create significant value for both companies.”
Atos is in the process of splitting into a legacy IT services unit that will keep the company’s name and Evidian, which it plans to list this year. The restructuring would give Atos shareholders 70% of Evidian, with Atos planning to sell the remaining stake in order to finance its own transformation.
The IT outsourcing unit of Atos has also attracted interest from potential investors, including Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky, Le Monde reported in January, citing unidentified people familiar with the talks.
(Updates with details starting in third paragraph.)
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