News Tech: France’s Thales is working on plans to acquire the cybersecurity business of IT consultancy group Atos, which is worth about $3 billion, despite the French government’s expected opposition to the split, it says. A source told Reuters. Thales and his advisor, Centerview Partners, have approached several of his private equity firms, including Bain Capital, with him exploring a potential joint bid for Atos as part of a deal that will lead to its dissolution.
Defense conglomerate Thales plans to acquire a big data and cybersecurity business known as BDS, he told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Athos shares rose 10.32% by 1515 GMT after Reuters first reported the news of the plan, while Thales shares fell 3%. Atos has fallen to its lowest level since mid-2012 after the company issued two profit warnings in seven months, making it an attractive target for private equity investors.
Bain, which acquired French IT services company Inetum in a deal worth about $2.27 billion in January, will use its joint acquisition of Atos to bring European technology assets, which it also manages to Italy’s IT-Company Engineering Group plans to expand its portfolio. Thales, Athos, Centerview, Bain, CVC and PAI all declined to comment. The French Finance Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. hostile and undesirable.