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Update: Nokia Denies Reports of Juniper Deal

Craig Matsumoto

UPDATE: Nokia's press office has issued a formal denial of a CNBC report that it is negotiating a possible $16 billion acquisition of Juniper.

The email statement notes that Nokia doesn't usually comment on market rumors but is making an exception in this case, "given the specificity of press reports related to a potential acquisition of Juniper Networks." It then goes on to say that "Nokia is not currently in talks with, nor is it preparing an offer for, Juniper Networks related to an acquisition of that company."

The CNBC report, based on unnamed sources, claimed a deal was in the works that would value Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) at a 42% premium, as the company was valued at $11.1 billion when the US stock market closed today, CNBC reported.

Juniper shares shot up 18% at $35 in after-hours trading following the report.

Any deal would follow up the Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, which closed in early 2016 and was valued at closer to $17 billion. That purchase netted Nokia a telecom equipment franchise including optical networking, switching and routing. The addition of Juniper would bolster the switching and routing part of that equation.

That would apparently set up Nokia to go head to head against the big acquisition that didn't happen, namely Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC). Those companies never officially tried to get together, but there was speculation that their ambitious partnership would lead to merger talks, creating a company -- well, a company along the lines of a potential Nokia-Juniper tie-up. (See Ericsson CEO: Cisco Merger Not On the Cards and Cisco & Ericsson Hone Their Partnership.)

Juniper has not commented officially on the story yet.

Juniper of late has been trying to rev its innovative engines, bringing in a new CTO from Google in Bikash Koley and focusing on key initiatives such as automation, intent-based network and operating a distributed cloud architecture. But the company admitted in October that it isn't getting the expected revenues from the cloud market and its third-quarter revenues would be down.

Speculation at that time was that Arista Networks Inc. and other rivals had beaten Juniper to the punch with major cloud service provider customers. (See Juniper's Q3 Sags as Cloud Business Dips.)

Related stories:

Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
11/30/2017 | 2:18:04 PM
Re: Interesting move by Nokia!
There is no synergy between the two. The rumor could be someone's exit strategy. $NOK & $CIEN could unite 2 telecom bubble ghosts but what is really $JNPR? $CSCO competitor? Or $PANW? The last 2 don't seem to be too concerned
User Rank: Light Weight
11/30/2017 | 2:14:46 PM
Re: Interesting move by Nokia!
Agree with Sterling.

From a product portfolio perspective, it seems more reasonable for Nokia to buy Arista. Or for Ciena - Juniper to merge. 
User Rank: Light Sabre
11/30/2017 | 1:02:47 PM
Re: Interesting move by Nokia!
Of course they are going to deny it. Having rumors out there don't help this deal. I still think it's going to happen, as it does make a lot of sense. Nokia needs Juniper, and Juniper wants growth. When you get big, M&A is the only way. 
Sterling Perrin
Sterling Perrin,
User Rank: Light Sabre
11/30/2017 | 9:14:04 AM
Re: Interesting move by Nokia!
Nokia got strong routing products/share when it acquired Alcatel-Lucent. It's not clear to me what Nokia would be getting from Juniper to justify an acquisition? If it's niche technology that's needed, that seems better through a niche buy rather than a major routing player.

User Rank: Lightning
11/30/2017 | 6:25:22 AM
Re: The ghost of Cisco/Ericsson?
Bro Ericsson is busy cleaning up the house. Getting rid of the dead wood. Renegotiating money-losing Managed Services contracts, Shrinking the bloated work forces in the markets out there. Perhaps, who knows? jettisoning some questionable business practices, if you remember Siemens as it made that JV with Nokia...

And most important: Avoiding asking new money from the shareholders. If time comes to ask more money from the shareoholders, that could be the time they decide to sell to Cisco.
User Rank: Light Beer
11/30/2017 | 4:25:40 AM
Interesting move by Nokia!
It could nevertheless be a interesting acquisition by Nokia, the old sleeping giant!
User Rank: Lightning
11/30/2017 | 12:11:44 AM
Nokia's new 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS)-XC

Does Juniper have anything to counter Nokia's new 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS)-XC ?

User Rank: Blogger
11/29/2017 | 9:23:40 PM
The ghost of Cisco/Ericsson?
Vis-a-vis the update, maybe Nokia is looking at how well the Cisco partnership is working out for Ericsson?

Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
11/29/2017 | 9:22:39 PM
Re: Merge ALL the things
@Phil: Big Business. Big Government. It's kind of all the same to me. ;)
Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
11/29/2017 | 9:21:30 PM
Re: Merge ALL the things
@KBode: Scott Adams once posited that all of the work on Earth would eventually be outsourced and out-outsourced and merged and so on to the point that one guy was doing all the work in the world -- which would work out fine until he takes a sick day.
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