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Nokia agrees to Alcatel acquisition

Nokia has entered into a ‘put option’ agreement to sell Alcatel Submarine Networks to the French state.

Photo credit: Adobe Stock/taviphoto

According to Nokia, it will retain a 20 per cent shareholding in the company, as well as board representation. This is to “ensure a smooth transition until targeted exit,” at which point the French state is planned to acquire the remaining interest.

Nokia describes Alcatel as a submarine communication networks leader, which is “well positioned to continue benefiting from the growth of the large and attractive subsea cables market.”

Discussing the move, a Nokia spokesperson said: “By divesting ASN - a non-core standalone business for Nokia – [it] can focus its network infrastructure portfolio on growth opportunities in its core markets. [It can also] further improve profitability of the Network Infrastructure business group.

“Going forward, Nokia’s Network Infrastructure business group will consist of three units - fixed networks, IP networks and optical networks. This is expected to reduce the net sales of network infrastructure by approximately one billion Euro but will increase its operating profit margin by 100 to 150 basis points.”

Nokia president and CEO, Pekka Lundmark, said: “This is a good step forward in our strategy of actively managing our portfolio. ASN has been a standalone part of our network infrastructure business and through the divestment, network infrastructure will benefit from a streamlined portfolio with a focus on growth and strengthening its technology leadership."

French minister of economy, Bruno Le Maire, said: “The French state - represented by the Agence des Participations de l’Etat -, is thrilled to announce its willingness to acquire 80 per cent shareholding of ASN. The company is one of the world leaders in the submarine cable market, and the only company of its kind in Europe.”

The sale is expected to close at the end of 2024/beginning of 2025.