French Government Rescues IT Firm Atos as Company Struggles with Debt

Struggling IT firm Atos announced on Monday that it had received an offer from the French government to potentially acquire some of its business segments.

The offer, outlined in a letter of intent from the French state over the weekend, includes Atos’ advanced computing, mission-critical systems, and cybersecurity product divisions.

The French government’s proposal is based on an indicative enterprise valuation ranging between 700 million euros ($750 million) and 1 billion euros. Atos stated that due diligence for the potential deal would commence shortly, with a non-binding offer expected to be made in early June.

AtoS Group (Credits: Stephane Mahe)

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire disclosed the plan in local media on Sunday, emphasizing the importance of certain sovereign activities within Atos remaining under exclusive French control.

Reuters reported Le Maire’s intention to encourage French companies to invest in Atos, noting that previous discussions for the sale of parts of the business, including with Airbus and Czech billionaire businessman Daniel Kretinsky, had not materialized.

Atos holds critical contracts with French authorities and military and is currently responsible for managing data and cybersecurity for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

AtoS (Credits: Romi/Rea)

Facing significant financial challenges, including high debt, Atos is currently engaged in discussions for financial restructuring. The company reported a net debt of 3.9 billion euros at the end of the first quarter.

On Monday, Atos revealed a revised cash requirement of 1.1 billion euros to fund its operations through 2024 and 2025, up from the previously stated 600 million euros.

Investors have until early May to submit proposals, with Atos aiming to finalize a restructuring deal in July.

Following the news of the French government’s offer, Atos shares surged by as much as 19% early on Monday, and were last up by 22.01% at 11:57 a.m. London time.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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