Nokia and Alcatel Lucent have confirmed that they are talks for a merger.
In a statement, Nokia said: “In relation to recent media speculation Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent confirm that they are in advanced discussions with respect to a potential full combination, which would take the form of a public exchange offer by Nokia for Alcatel-Lucent. There can be no certainty at this stage that these discussions will result in any agreement or transaction.”
It added that a further announcement will be made when appropriate.
Nokia had recently sold its device hardware business to Microsoft. However, Nokia continues to retain the networks and other businesses such as Here maps.
It recently re-entered the devices business with its first Android tablet.
Before today’s statement, French daily Les Echos newspaper reported that Nokia Oyj is close to a deal to buy Alcatel-Lucent’s mobile networks unit to boost its core business especially in the United States and China.
The French business daily had said an announcement could come “quickly,” citing a source close to the matter, claiming that meetings between managers at the two companies had increased since January.
This was followed by Bloomberg reporting after a few hours that the companies had examined a full takeover of Paris-based telecom equipment maker, but that Nokia was more likely to buy the wireless business.
Alcatel Lucent is a French global telecommunications equipment company, headquartered in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.
The company focuses on fixed, mobile, and converged networking hardware, IP technologies, software, and services. Alcatel-Lucent has operations in more than 130 countries.
In 1998 Alcatel Alsthom, then independent, shifted its focus to the telecommunications industry, spinning off its Alsthom activities and changing the company’s name to Alcatel. AT&T spun off Lucent Technologies in April 1996 with an initial public offering.
In April 2004, TCL Corporation and Alcatel announced the creation of a mobile phone manufacturing joint venture: Alcatel Mobile Phones. Facing intense competition in the telecommunications industry, Alcatel and Lucent Technologies merged on November 30, 2006.