Market: The French state wants to buy Atos activities, says Le Maire

PARIS (Reuters) – The French state has sent a letter of intent to the Atos group to acquire activities it considers strategic, Bruno Le Maire said on Sunday.

“I submitted a letter of intent this weekend with a view to acquiring all the sovereign activities of Atos,” he said on the LCI channel.

The French Minister of Economy and Finance added that the State wanted other industrial groups to join its offer, without further details.

In serious financial difficulties, Atos warned on Thursday that it needed additional liquidity, which would lead it to revise its refinancing plan presented only two weeks ago.

At the beginning of April, the group presented a long-awaited refinancing plan which was then based on the search for 1.2 billion euros in new money and the conversion of half of the debt into shares.

But the deterioration in activity in the first quarter forced the group to review its business plan for 2024-2027.

Atos, which holds assets considered strategic by the French government, hoped to begin a recovery with the sale of its BDS (Big Data & Security) activity to Airbus and that of its Tech Foundations branch, which brings together its IT consulting activities, to Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky. Both operations, however, failed.

The group has extended to May 3 the deadline for refinancing proposals, one of which should come from the company Onepoint, the largest shareholder of Atos with 11.4% of the capital.

Atos is also discussing with its banks to restructure its debt and still wants to reach an agreement with financial creditors by July.

(Written by Mathieu Rosemain; French version Claude Chendjou)

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