Airbus pulls up laborious, now not shopping for 29.9% stake in Atos-owned Evidian

Airbus has pulled out of negotiations to purchase virtually a 3rd of Evidian following intense public stress from an activist investor who described the transaction as an obvious bail out of father or mother Atos.

In a be aware to buyers, the aerospace big mentioned yesterday: “After cautious consideration, Airbus SE has come to the conclusion that the potential acquisition of a minority stake of 29.9 p.c in Evidian doesn’t meet the corporate’s aims within the present context and below the present construction.”

Evidian homes the quicker rising elements of Atos together with the safety enterprise, cloud operations, HPC and digital transformation. It employs 59,000 folks and turned over $5.12 billion in gross sales in 2021. It’s being spun out of Atos later this 12 months and can float on the Paris Change, below a plan that was hatched final summer time.

Airbus mentioned on February 16 it was in talks to spend money on the unit, supposedly to faucet into its safety expertise and digital know-how.

This evidently did not make finance sense to main Airbus shareholder TCI Fund Administration boss, whose boss Sir Christopher Hohn pressured Airbus administration to “instantly terminate negotiations” as funding “could be stranded capital and an especially inefficient use of shareholder funds.”

“The transaction seems to be a bailout of Atos, an organization that’s burdened with unsustainable ranges of debt and different liabilities,” he wrote in an open letter to the Airbus board.

Perhaps Airbus was swayed by sturdy phrases from a hedge fund that owns a 4 p.c stake, valued at €4 billion, or administration merely determined their cash was higher used elsewhere. Both manner it leaves Atos with out the “anchor shareholder” that Chairman Bertrand Meunier was thrilled with.

Airbus mentioned in its assertion yesterday it should proceed to speak “different potential choices” with Atos and “pursue the work on the long run strategic and technological partnership… which has the potential to create important worth for each firms.”

The top of negotiations hit Atos’ share value laborious, plunging virtually 17 p.c.

The cut up of Atos continues to be going forward, with the opposite half of the corporate – datacenter, internet hosting, digital office, unified comms and BPO – referred to by administration because the Tech Basis Firm. This space has 49,000 employees and turned over $5.65 billion in 2021. It’s a shrinking entity and was seen because the least enticing elements of the group.

Now Atos might want to discover various funding to assist pay for its costly inner transformation. ®