Nokia-AlcaLu merger talks rumoured again

Nokia-AlcaLu merger talks rumoured again

19 DEC 2014

Infrastructure vendors Nokia Networks and Alcatel-Lucent are reported to have resumed discussions about a potential merger.

Manager Magazin, a German publication, cited company sources as saying that the pair could either merge or agree to cooperate closely as a result of the discussions. The sources said the discussions resumed in the autumn.

However, a source close to the French-US company told Reuters that they were unaware of any recent discussions related to Nokia.

An Alcatel-Lucent representative told Mobile World Live: “We do not comment on rumours or speculation.” Nokia responded by saying the company’s policy “is not to comment on media speculation”.

The two companies held a number of discussions prior to Nokia agreeing to sell its Devices & Services business to Microsoft for €5.6 billion earlier this year, a move that allowed it to focus on its networks business.

A report in The Wall Street Journal in November 2013 suggested that Nokia had considered a bid for Alcatel-Lucent but had decided not to go ahead.

Manager Magazin previously linked Nokia to an acquisition of US-based Juniper Networks back in February. That deal has not taken place.

The article in which the latest talks were reported suggested that Nokia would benefit from the expertise Alcatel has in fixed-line networks.

Inderes Equity Research analyst Mikael Rautanen told Reuters that many parts of the Alcatel-Lucent business would not be a good fit with Nokia and so would need to be spun off for the deal to work.

A source said the possibility of a merger between the two companies could also be hampered by French government concerns of job cuts at Alcatel.

Nokia is aiming to return to modest growth in its core network equipment and services business in 2015, and Alcatel-Lucent continues to focus on restructuring, cutting costs and reducing its debt.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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