Nokia in advanced talks to acquire Alcatel-Lucent

Finland’s Nokia has confirmed that is in advanced talks to acquire Alcatel-Lucent, following rumours of a merger.

The companies are in discussions with respect to a potential full combination, which could take the form of a public exchange offer by Nokia for Alcatel-Lucent, according to a joint statement. 

“There can be no certainty at this stage that these discussions will result in any agreement or transaction,” it added. 

By acquiring Alcatel-Lucent’s mobile assets, Nokia would strengthen its position in China and gain contracts with AT&T and Verizon.  

If successful, the merger could be announced as early as this week, according to sources who asked not to be identified. 

The deal would require approval from the French government. France’s economy ministry said that it had no immediate reaction to the announcement.

The announcement coincides with rumours that Nokia is considering the sale of its HERE mapping unit in a bid to focus on its networking arm. Potential buyers for the unit – valued by Nokia at approximately €2 billion – are said to include Uber, private equity firms and German automakers.