Alcatel-Lucent fails to sell subsea cable unit

07 October 2015 |


Alcatel-Lucent has failed to sell its submarine networks division and now says the unit will be included in the €15.6 billion merger with Nokia, planned for 2016.

The French company first announced in 2014 that it was planning to sell or float off Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks and in early August — some time after it accepted Nokia’s bid for the group — it confirmed that was still the case.

Now Alcatel-Lucent says that the unit will remain a wholly-owned subsidiary: "ASN will continue to execute its strategic roadmap, strengthen its leadership in submarine cable systems for telecom applications and pursue further diversification into the oil and gas sector."

The company added: “Retaining ASN has no impact on Alcatel-Lucent’s intention to complete its proposed combination with Nokia.”

This contrasts with a statement to Global Telecoms Business in early August 2015, when the company said: “We announced plans for a partial capital opening in our submarine cables subsidiary some months ago because we strongly believe that it is an asset with tremendous opportunities to grow, but which needs to have its own independence in order to do so.”

Following the announcement Bloomberg quoted an Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman as saying: “We’re not satisfied with the options we have been given.” Bloomberg said that among the potential investors that had looked at ASN were Permira Advisers, PAI Partners and French sovereign fund FSI.

Earlier this month, ASN announced that it is to construct the Sonangol Offshore Optical Cable (SOOC) which will connect landing points across the coast of Angola.