Alcatel-Lucent and Thales in talks over cybersecurity partnership

Alcatel-Lucent and French security company Thales are in talks over a potential takeover of Alcatel's cybersecurity unit.

The deal is part of a broader agreement which would see Thales provide security services to Alcatel’s customers, strengthening the latter's portfolio in the field of secured networks.

The move complements the vendor’s goal to expand its commercial offering in cybersecurity, announced as part of its Shift Plan last year.

“This strategic partnership with Thales illustrates Alcatel Lucent’s strategy to reposition itself as a specialist in IP networks, cloud technologies and secured ultra-broadband access. Cybersecurity is of strategic concern to our customers, and to networks in general,” said Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent.

“By partnering with Thales for related services, we will be able to offer a comprehensive world-class expertise in network security.”

Alcatel’s cybersecurity services and communications security activities are located in France, Germany, Belgium and the UK.

The financial details of the potential agreement have not been revealed.

"With this strategic partnership, Thales strengthens its position in cybersecurity and consolidates its position as European leader in this strategic sector,” said Jean-Bernard Lévy, chairman and CEO of Thales.

“This investment responds to the growing ambition of Thales in promising sectors of security, in order to offer solutions that ensure the integrity and resilience of its customers’ information systems,” he added.

The news forms part of Alcatel’s plan to sell at least €1 billion ($1.37 billion) in assets and focus on a number of core businesses, in an effort to return the company to profitability.