Updated April 29th, 2024 at 12:40 IST

French IT firm Atos seeks 1.1bn euros bailout

French government presented Atos with a letter of intent, outlining its proposal to acquire key assets, including advanced computing.

Reported by: Business Desk
Atos seeks €1.1 billion lifeline, the French state eyes unit takeover | Image:Atos

Atos seeks €1.1 billion lifeline: Struggling French IT firm Atos has revised its near-term financial needs upwards, signalling a requirement of €1.1 billion ($1.18 billion) to sustain operations. This figure nearly doubles the company's earlier estimate. In response to Atos's distress, the French government has extended a lifeline, expressing intent to acquire strategic units to bolster the firm's stability.

Over the weekend, the French government presented Atos with a letter of intent, outlining its proposal to acquire key assets, including the Advanced Computing, Mission-Critical Systems, and Cyber Products divisions. Atos confirmed on Monday that the bid aims to secure full ownership of these units, valuing them between €700 million and €1 billion.


Notably, Atos plays a crucial role in safeguarding communications for the French military and secret services, along with manufacturing servers vital for supercomputing applications and crucial for advancing research and nascent artificial intelligence ventures.

The fate of these strategic units, employing around 4,000 individuals and generating approximately 900 million euros ($962 million) in annual revenue, remains uncertain. Speculation has arisen suggesting involvement from defence giants like Thales and Dassault Aviation in safeguarding Atos's key assets.


While Thales and Atos refrained from commenting, Dassault Aviation remained unavailable for immediate comment.

With Atos serving as a key partner for the upcoming Paris Olympics, the company is navigating a refinancing process, which could lead to significant shareholder dilution. Atos disclosed an escalated need for €1.1 billion in cash to sustain operations through 2025-2025, compared to a previous estimate of €600 million.


The company is now seeking debt and equity financing from existing or new investors, with proposals expected by May 3, aiming to finalise a restructuring agreement by July. Atos's pursuit of a 'BB' credit profile by 2026 entails a gross debt reduction target of €3.2 billion, emphasising its commitment to financial stability amidst recent challenges.

(with Reuters inputs)


Published April 29th, 2024 at 12:40 IST