Alcatel mulling sale of submarine, enterprise units-sources

PARIS Fri Nov 2, 2012 7:51am EDT

PARIS Nov 2 (Reuters) - Alcatel-Lucent is weighing selling its submarine cable business and a unit that sells telephone systems to big companies as part of its effort to shore up its balance sheet, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The company has yet to hire banks to work on the deals, but a previously announced mid-September move to put the two businesses directly under Chief Financial Executive Paul Tufano is a sign they are candidates for sale, the people said.

Alcatel-Lucent said on Friday it was studying options, including asset sales and a restructuring of its debt, to strengthen its balance sheet after posting a third-quarter loss.

Goldman Sachs analysts estimated that sales of the submarine optic and the corporate telephony units could raise up to 400 million euros. One of the sources said the valuation would be "much higher" without giving details.

A spokeswoman for the company declined to comment on the specific asset sales or options for restructuring the debt.

"As we said this morning at results, we are reviewing all our options to strengthen our balance sheet and will communicate when appropriate," she said. (Reporting by Leila Abboud, Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Christian Plumb)

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