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Alcatel-Lucent's Sale on Heels of Acquisition

NEW YORK, January 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

After acquiring wavelength-selective switch (WSS) developer Capella Photonics, Alcatel-Lucent is looking into selling one of its businesses to inject cash into the conglomerate.

The recently concluded 2013 Consumer Electronics Show featured Alcatel-Lucent's (NYSE: ALU) [Full Research Report](1) Connect Program, a collection of 12 cloud-based multi-platform service concepts aimed towards new innovation, highlights of which included interactive digital signage for public places and retail shopping. Although this new outlook contributed to the recent upgraded rating by Goldman Sachs, Alcatel is still in dire need of a cash infusion.

Extending the Deadline

Despite their recent acquisition of privately-held wavelength-selective switch (WSS) developer Capella Intelligent Subsystems Inc., one of the few independent vendors of WSS subsystems for reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers in the optical communications market, Alcatel is still on the looking for its holy grail. Alcatel says the acquisition was "strategic to our business" and was "not considered material."

Analysts aren't sure of Alcatel's fate in 2013, according to a report from Daily Finance. The target share price is in fact below 15% of where the stock is trading right now, suggesting tough times will continue for the telecommunications equipment company even if they reduce their losses this year.

Some debt refinancing from a credit facility from Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs helped buy Alcatel enough time to get in better shape, which is the cause of optimism coming into this year. However, the real challenge is to overcome weak capital spending by its customers and keep up with competition from other industry players, in order to establish a strategic vision for the future, the report said.

Shopping for a Buyer

A report from International Business Times suggests that the number of companies have shown interest in Alcatel's submarine cable business, which could be a solution for the company's financial woes.

The business is proven to be profitable for them, having double digit margins and a 40 percent market share, as told to Bloomberg. Interested companies include investment funds Permira Advisers and PAI Partners, French sovereign fund FSI, and France Telecom. The sale is estimated to generate as much as 800 million euros or $1.1 billion for Alcatel.

The unit is part of the company's optics-equipment business, and sales at the optics unit fell 18 percent in the third quarter to only 480 million euros. In comparison, Alcatel's total revenue fell by only 2.8 percent in that period. Meanwhile, another Alcatel unit is also seen to be put up for sale, focused on selling telecommunications equipment to businesses, valued at 200 million euros.

Reference Links:

(1)   The Full Research Report on Alcatel-Lucent - including full detailed breakdown, analyst ratings and price targets - is available to download free of charge at:

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