Atos' shares have fallen after opposition lawmakers called for the company to be nationalized, reports Reuters.

Suggestions that the company nationalizes are being made in light of a planned deal that will see Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky acquire the company.

– Atos

Olivier Marleix from the conservative Les Republicans and Socialist Philippe Brun both argue that the sale could present a threat to France's sovereignty and have asked for a temporary takeover of Atos to be added to the 2024 budget bill.

The statements have seen Atos' stock value drop by 12 percent, bringing it to its lowest point in more than 20 years.

"We cannot allow a foreign company to take control of these activities, which are absolutely essential to our national independence", Philippe Brun said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Atos announced plans earlier this month to sell its IT outsourcing unit to Kretinsky, alongside the news that the company had appointed UniCredit former-CEO Jean-Pierre Mustier as chairman.

The sale would also give Kretinsky a 7.5 percent share of the cybersecurity and supercomputing arm of Atos, Eviden.

The supercomputing business is at the crux of the issue. Les Republicains lawmakers have argued that the deal risks allowing French supercomputers to fall into foreign hands. In addition, Atos components are reportedly used in combat systems used by France's Navy and Air Force.

The two parties have made differing suggestions for the nationalization process. Les Republicains have suggested budgeting €500 million ($527m) for a total nationalization of Atos, while the socialist party is suggesting €390m ($411m) to nationalize only two Atos units.

Atos' downward slope

Atos' share value has been in a relatively steady decline since a high of €101.62 in 2017.

The company's stock nose-dived in 2018 when, just 10 weeks before year-end, the company significantly cut its revenue growth forecast from two to three percent to just one percent, arguing that it was caused by an "uncertain and challenging" international economic environment.

The company spent the next year working its way back up, only for the pandemic to hit in late 2019, seeing the shares hit another low in early 2020.

2021 saw another hit with a dip of 22 percent in stock value, when auditors found accounting errors for two of its US entities - Atos IT Solutions and Services, and Atos IT Outsourcing Services.

In the following two years, Atos lost out on a major $1 billion contract to develop the UK Met Office's supercomputer (though was later paid £24m ($29.3m) in compensation).

The company then saw shares take a hit following the 2022 announcement that Atos would be separating into two companies: Tech Foundations Co, and Eviden. TFCo is set to be bought by EP Equity Investment for €2 billion ($2.2bn).

In early 2023, the company suddenly lost its contract with the UK Pension service Nest. Originally a £1.5bn ($1.82bn) 18-year contract, the companies severed the deal after just two years.