Nokia Assumes Control of Alcatel-Lucent
The combined company, which will look to better compete against Ericsson, Huawei and Cisco, will start offering a combined product portfolio Jan. 14.Nokia has taken control of one-time rival Alcatel-Lucent and will begin offering a merged product portfolio late next week as the company looks to build a larger entity that can better challenge Ericsson, Huawei Technologies and Cisco Systems in the increasingly competitive market for telecommunications networking equipment. Nokia officials on Jan. 4 announced that the French stock market authority had found that, following the interim results of the initial offer period of Nokia's public exchange offer for Alcatel-Lucent stock in France and the United States, Nokia controls almost 79 percent of Alcatel-Lucent shares. In a statement, they said it is in the best interest of the remaining Alcatel-Lucent investors to sell their shares to Nokia and that if Nokia acquires 95 percent of Alcatel-Lucent, it would "squeeze out the remaining shares." The finding enables Nokia to begin merging the two companies, and officials said they will start offering a single lineup of products this month. "We will move quickly to combine the two companies and execute our integration plans," Nokia President and CEO Rajeev Suri said in a statement. "As of January 14, 2016, Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent will offer a combined end-to-end portfolio of the scope and scale to meet the needs of our global customers. We will have unparalleled R&D and innovation capabilities, which we will use to lead the world in creating next-generation technology and services."
The announcement comes a month after Nokia shareholders endorsed the company's $16.6 billion bid for Alcatel-Lucent, which was announced in April 2015 after almost two years of speculation. Both Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent were finding it increasingly difficult to compete with Ericsson and Huawei, and officials said they expected a combined company would be in a better position to challenge the larger rivals in Europe and gain greater leverage in the growing Chinese market.