Nokia to sell ASN to French State

Nokia to sell ASN to French State

Nokia new 2

Nokia has agreed to sell Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) to the French State for around US$374 million, the Finnish company announced on Thursday.

Nokia says it will retain a 20% shareholding in ASN, with board representation to ensure a smooth transition until the targeted exit, at which point the French State would acquire the remaining interest.

The vendor adds that by divesting ASN, a non-core standalone business, it can focus its network infrastructure portfolio on growth opportunities in its core markets and further improve profitability.

“This is a good step forward in our strategy of actively managing our portfolio,” said Pekka Lundmark, president and CEO of Nokia.

“ASN has been a standalone part of our Network Infrastructure business and through the divestment, Network Infrastructure will benefit from a streamlined portfolio with a focus on growth and strengthening its technology leadership.

“ASN has gone through a significant transformation in recent years and has a strong market position. I am pleased we have found a natural owner for the business. The French State will ensure continued investment in ASN and protection of critical industry know-how.”

Beginning with Q2, Nokia expects to account for ASN as a “discontinued operation”. Going forward, the firm’s Network Infrastructure Business Group will comprise three units, Fixed Networks, IP Networks and Optical Networks.

This is expected to reduce the net sales of Network Infrastructure by just over $1 billion, but will increase the operating profit margin by 100-150 basis points.,

The proposed sale is the result of “extensive discussions which concluded that the French State is the most relevant custodian of ASN”, Nokia said in a release.

Alain Biston, President and CEO of ASN said: “This is an incredibly exciting moment for ASN as we undertake the next phase of our development.

“The French State’s ownership gives us a stable platform to further develop our vertically integrated technology offering.

“This, combined with Nokia’s retained stake, underscores all parties’ aligned interests in delivering a smooth transition for the benefit of our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.”

Gift this article