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Thales won't take stake in Atos' spun-off unit Evidian

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Atos is seen on a company building, in Nantes

By Mathieu Rosemain

PARIS (Reuters) -Thales will not take a stake in Atos' soon to be spun-off unit Evidian, a spokesperson for the French defence and technology company said on Tuesday, following market speculation about Thales' interest in the IT consulting firm.

Atos is planning to split into two publicly-listed companies by the end of June.

The spun-off entity, Evidian, would include Atos' most-coveted asset, cybersecurity division BDS. Thales also offers cybersecurity services to its clients.

Asked if Thales would be interested in a stake in Evidian, a company spokesperson said it would not, because it did not correspond to the group's strategy and it "has no intention of diversifying into markets other than those it already serves".

Atos, which generated net losses of 500 million euros ($536.95 million) over the first half of 2022, is striving to regain investors' confidence following the sudden departure of its former CEO Rodolphe Belmer, which coincided with the announcement of its split-up plan last June.

French newspaper Les Echos reported last week that Airbus, one of Thales' top clients, had started talks to take a minority share in Evidian.

Atos said then that it had begun "exploratory discussions with potential future minority shareholders" for Evidian, without elaborating.

($1 = 0.9312 euros)

(Reporting by Mathieu RosemainEditing by Tomasz Janowski and Barbara Lewis)