PARIS May 22 Telecom equipment maker
Alcatel-Lucent said it was in exclusive talks to sell
its network security unit to defence electronics group Thales
as part of a broader partnership in cybersecurity.
If the deal is finalised, roughly 70 Alcatel-Lucent workers
now located near Paris, Toulouse and Nantes would be transferred
to Thales, said a spokeswoman for Alcatel. Thales would commit
to providing cybersecurity services to Alcatel-Lucent clients.
The companies did not disclose financial details of the
potential transaction on Thursday, nor did they say how long the
talks would take.
Alcatel-Lucent Chief Executive Michel Combes has promised to
sell 1 billion euros ($1.37 billion) of assets as part of his
effort to turn around the telecom equipment maker by the end of
Two small businesses have already been sold for 350 million
euros, including an enterprise unit that sells communications
products and services to corporations, and
research-and-development partnerships have been signed with
chipmakers Qualcomm and Intel.
Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent, which competes with Sweden's
Ericsson, China's Huawei and Finland's Nokia
, has not posted regular profits since it was created
in a transatlantic merger in 2006, hampered by its relatively
small size in mobile and by tough competition with low-cost
($1 = 0.7323 Euros)
(Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by James Regan)