Alcatel mulls corporate telecom gear unit sale -WSJ

PARIS, April 14 Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:36am EDT

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PARIS, April 14 (Reuters) - Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA) may sell the part of the company that sells phones and telecom gear to corporations or list the business on the stock market, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Thursday.

The company has hired advisers to help it explore options for the unit, which has annual sales of around $1.5 billion, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Alcatel has started contacting possible buyers for the business, which the newspaper said could include Microsoft (MSFT.O), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N) and Ericsson (ERICb.ST).

The newspaper quoted one source as saying the unit was worth well over $1 billion and possibly more than $2 billion.

Alcatel declined to comment.

Shares in Alcatel were up 2.6 percent at 4.155 euros by 1418 GMT, the top gainers on a 1.1 percent softer French CAC-40 index .FCHI, and they have gained almost 90 percent so far this year. (Reporting by Leila Abboud; Writing by James Regan; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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