Airbus revolution: the aviation giant has bought BDS
In an strategic plan that could transform its presence in the global industrial arena, Airbus, the European titan of the aeronautical sector, is contemplating a master game in the field of cyber security. Information is circulating that this giant of the sky is valuing the possibility of a significant incursion into this terrain, with the aim of the Big Data & Security (BDS) division of Atos, one of the most prominent French IT companies. The operation, which varies between 1,500 and 1,800 million euros, is not merely an economic transaction; It is a reflection of the growing need for robust digital security in the competitive airline sector.
This movement does not emerge in a vacation until in the middle of a complete scenario. Atos, under the command of Jean Pierre Mustier, former CEO of Unicredit, is bearing the burden of a considerable endudamiento. The company, which has not been able to reach a definitive agreement in its dialogue with the tycoon Daniel Kretinsky to take over the Tech Foundation – an asset estimated at 2,000 million euros -, is now in the process of disposing of other assets, including the mentioned BDS division.
The internal passages of Atos add a complete cape to the panorama. The recent announcements of my key members of the board of directors, such as Valérie Bernis, Aminata Niane, Vernon Sankey and René Proglio, and the name of new directors such as Françoise Mercadal-Delasalles and Jean-Jacques Morin, are indicative of a period of turmoil and uncertainties within the organization.
In this sea of instability, Atos seems to have stopped trying to draw strings with Onepoint, its main shareholder, which recently increased its participation to 11.4% in December. This movement could be a determining factor in future strategic and corporate governance decisions of the company.
The presence intensifies for Atos before the next two decades of his life. The company must articulate mechanisms to settle or refinance its financial compromises, which could lead to the acquisition of new banking loans, access to capital markets or a significant transition into its assets. The exclusive deliberations with Epei (Kretinsky) for the venture of Tech Foundations generate questions not only about the price of the transaction, but also with respect to which part of the deed would be transferred.
Atos’ initial plan contemplated a capital increase for Eviden, on a branch specializing in digital services, cloud computing, big data and cyber security. However, market fluctuations require a reevaluation and possibly a disminution of these planes. Therefore, Atos considers the possibility of selling other assets above the previously announced 400 million euros, with the aim of satisfying its financial needs. The company has received two preliminary offers of interest for its BDS activities, one of which only takes up a portion of the shop.
For Airbus, this potential achieved with BDS could signify an strategic inflection point, which can integrate crucial cyber security capabilities into its portfolio and broaden its spectrum of services. On the other hand, for Atos, the transaction could require a financial input and allow it to concentrate more on its other lines of business, as well as on its financial stability.
However, the outcome of these corporate maneuvers is far from being a certainty, in view of the current climate of economic uncertainty and the complexity inherent in the ongoing negotiations. Industry analysts look expectantly as Airbus and Atos will sort out these tumultuous waters, in a context that has implications of great importance not only for both entities but also for the aviation industry and technology in its context.