Airbus Wants Part Of Atos’ Evidian Cybersecurity Business
The acquisition of 29.9 percent of Atos’ Evidian digital transformation, big data, and cybersecurity business by Airbus, should a deal be reached, would be a major shift in the competitive European cybersecurity market, but other potential suitors of Evidian including Thales and Group OnePoint may still be looking for deals.
Global solution provider Atos Thursday confirmed rumors that aerospace giant Airbus is looking to acquire a 29.9-percent stake in Atos’ Evidian cybersecurity business.
Paris-based Atos said Airbus has offered to acquire nearly a third of Evidian as part of what it termed a long-term strategic and technological agreement.
Atos said Airbus will conduct due-diligence on Evidian while the two negotiates “mutually satisfactory terms” on strategic and technological partnerships.
Rumors of Airbus’ possible interest in acquiring part of Atos’ Evidian business were reported as early as January 1. At that time, both Atos and Airbus declined to discuss what they said were rumors.
Evidian was formed out of Atos’ decision in early 2022 to divide itself into two separate companies. Atos would maintain the company’s focus on managed infrastructure services, digital workplace, and professional services. Evidian would focus on digital transformation, big data, and cybersecurity.
Atos said Airbus has no exclusivity in relation to a strategic agreement over Evidian, and that it remains open to receiving interest from other potential partners.
Interest in acquiring all or part of Evidian seems to be high. In addition to talks now confirmed to be on-going between Airbus and Atos over the future of at least part of Evidian, Paris-based Thales and its adviser Centerview Partners in February of 2022 reportedly approached several investment firms including Bain Capital to discuss a deal that would have the private equity firms picking up the parts of Atos that Thales isn’t interested in owning.
Airbus and Thales are major competitors in the European cybersecurity business.
Atos in September also received an unsolicited letter of intent from Paris-based digital transformation services provider Group Onepoint in association with the British private equity fund ICG related to a potential acquisition of Evidian for an enterprise value of 4.2 billion Euros, or about $4.0 billion. At the time, Atos in a statement said, “The Board of Directors has convened and unanimously concluded that it is not in the interest of the Company and its stakeholders.”
According to Atos, Airbus as a long-term strategic partner in Evidian would help strengthen Evidian’s European and global reach in cloud, advanced computing, digital security, and digitalization.
Atos did not respond to a CRN request for information by press time.
However, Atos Chairman Bertrand Meunier in a prepared statement said Airbus’ interest in acquiring part of Evidian shows how Evidian’s unique capabilities are important in an increasingly complex digital environment with ever-increasing security challenges.
“Through this proposed large-scale partnership, we would accelerate Evidian’s industrial project and future growth while ensuring technological sovereignty in France and in Europe in the critical fields of cloud, advanced computing, cybersecurity and digitalization. Atos, including Evidian’s teams, and Airbus have a long history of collaboration and share common values, and, going forward, they would continue to foster innovation and excellence,” Meunier said.