Nokia completed its acquisition of network infrastructure vendor Alcatel-Lucent after buying out all outstanding shares, ending a purchase process that lasted 19 months.

The Finnish company said it would now start “eliminating the complexity and costs of running two separate public companies”, with the joint entity “ready to seize global connectivity opportunities”.

After announcing the deal in April 2015, the companies actually kicked off combined operations back in January this year, after receiving regulatory clearance for the tie up.

Nokia took control of 79.32 per cent share capital and at least 78.97 per cent of the voting rights of Alcatel-Lucent, but the issue to buy out the remaining shares dragged on as smaller shareholders held out for a better price.

The company eventually launched a public buy out for all remaining shares in September, after receiving clearance to go ahead with the offer in cash by stock market authority AMF.

In a statement, Rajeev Suri claimed that the acquisition, in the end, “was smoother than many observers thought possible”.

“While we have been operating as a combined company already since January 2016, we should take a moment to recognise the significance of today’s news,” he said.

Nokia noted that it only took nine months after the deal was announced for the two players to be working as a combined company.

In this week’s news statement it reiterated synergy targets from the deal of €1.2 billion in annual cost savings, achieved in full year 2018.

The move marks the end of a three-year period of transformation for Nokia, starting with the purchase of Siemens’ share in Nokia Siemens Networks in 2013 and followed by the divestments of the vendor’s Devices & Services and mapping businesses in the next two years.