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The French government said Tuesday that it was moving to protect Atos, a too-big-to-fail French technology giant that manages data and cybersecurity for the nation’s nuclear weapons programs and military as well as for the upcoming Paris Olympics, as the company veered toward financial uncertainty.

Shares of Atos tumbled more than 20 percent after Airbus, the European aerospace giant, said it had called off talks to buy Atos’s cybersecurity assets for up to 1.8 billion euros (about $2 billion) following a review of the company’s finances. Later, Atos said it would postpone its earnings release, scheduled for Wednesday, “in order to evaluate strategic options.”

The French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said the government had been closely watching the situation and was working on “a national solution” to protect Atos. “All the interests of France will be preserved,” Mr. Le Maire said, adding that he would use all means at his disposal “to guarantee the protection of strategic activities.”

Atos is not a prominent name among the world’s biggest tech companies, but in France it plays a strategic role in national security and the management of sensitive data in the civil and military sectors. It has grown into a European data and supercomputing powerhouse over the last decade, operating in 69 countries and employing 95,000, with annual revenue of €11 billion.

Much of that growth relied on a debt-financed spending spree of acquisitions, many of them when Atos was led by Thierry Breton, a former finance minister and the current European Union commissioner for internal markets. The company now faces €3.65 billion in loans and bonds that must be repaid or refinanced by the end of 2025.

In 2021, Atos’s share price was hit after reports that it would acquire an American competitor, DXC Technology, for $10 billion. The deal was scrapped a month later amid investor concerns, and Atos was dealt a further blow after auditors found accounting errors at two of its U.S. operations. Atos also failed to keep up with the rise of cloud computing by competitors like Amazon and Microsoft, further undermining investor confidence. The company has gone through three chief executives in as many years.

In a statement on Tuesday, Atos said it was “actively evaluating strategic alternatives that will take into consideration the sovereign imperatives of the French state.” Its shares, which topped €75 three years ago, traded Tuesday at just €1.74.

Its most prized assets became the target of a takeover bid last year by Daniel Kretinsky, a Czech telecommunications billionaire whose efforts were fiercely opposed by French politicians — some of whom have called for nationalizing Atos to keep it in French hands.

Mr. Le Maire stopped short of calling for nationalization. But he said the government’s priority was to “identify solutions to stabilize its financial situation and give all the necessary visibility to stakeholders, in particular the company’s employees.”

Among other things, Atos owns the supercomputer that enables the French military to simulate nuclear bomb tests, after the government outlawed physical testing in 1996. Électricité de France recently selected an Atos entity, Eviden, to provide control systems for six nuclear power reactors that the French government plans to build in the coming decade.

Atos software is used for French Rafale fighter jets and even the secure telephone lines of the French armed forces. Airbus, which builds combat aircraft and military helicopters, had expressed interest in Atos’s big data and cybersecurity assets as it expands its program amid a rise in European defense budgets.

In a terse statement on Tuesday, Airbus said it was ending its discussions with Atos, but did not give a reason.

Atos’s software and computing power are also used for France’s national tax and health agencies. The company recently won the contract to host personal data and provide cybersecurity for the Paris Olympics this summer.

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