TCI Fund Management has demanded aircraft manufacturer Airbus refrain from buying a significant stake in Evidian, the soon-to-be separated cyber security unit of French IT company Atos. The activist said Airbus should instead consider raising its dividend or buying back stock to help its valuation.

Last week, Atos shares spiked on news of a strategic offer from Airbus to acquire 30% of Evidian, the French group’s big data and cybersecurity division expected to be separated as a standalone company later this year.

However, TCI believes Airbus should focus on its core business instead of pursuing what it called a deal having the appearance of a ‘‘politically motivated bailout,’’ according to a Monday letter penned by the activist’s founder Chris Hohn.

Airbus can continue its “mutually productive and profitable relationship with Evidian” without taking a stake, TCI said. The activist fund has been on the jet manufacturer’s share register for more than a decade and, in 2019, criticized Airbus for not going far enough with its climate-related disclosure and initiatives.

Hohn’s argued that Evidian is ‘‘burdened with unsustainable levels of debt and other liabilities” and acquiring such a large stake in it would be a distraction for Airbus and ‘‘an extremely inefficient use of shareholder funds.’’

“The last thing management needs is a new problem child to distract it from Airbus’s core business, which for the first time in 20 years looks to be in good order,” contended TCI. The plane maker’s management ‘‘should be “totally focused on fixing the supply chain and delivering aircraft, rather than being distracted by this agreement with Atos,” the activist added.

”A much better use of Airbus’ prodigious and rising cashflow would be to increase the dividend or to buy back the company’s stock, which we think is extremely undervalued,” wrote Hohn.

TCI said it had filed a motion requiring Airbus to answer 16 questions relating to the deal at its April annual meeting, adding that it reserved its rights to sue for damages if the transaction went ahead and evidence emerged that it was in part politically motivated.

In a statement to the Financial Times, Atos said the Airbus partnership would “create a win-win situation for both companies, strengthening their respective offer and positioning in critical digital and security market segments”.

Last week, when it announced the talks with Airbus about becoming an anchor shareholder in Evidian, Atos said this would accelerate and ensure “technological sovereignty in France and in Europe in the critical fields of cloud, advanced computing, cybersecurity, and digitalization.”