AlcaLu Preps Asset Sale

10:00 AM -- Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is in exclusive talks with Dassault Aviation regarding the sale of its 20.8 percent stake in defense firm Thales SA (Paris: TCFP.PA), the vendor announced Tuesday morning.

That won't come as a shock, as AlcaLu had been open about selling that non-core asset, and Dassault had been identified last month as a likely buyer. (See AlcaLu to Sell Thales.)

Now, though, there's a price on the table: The two firms have agreed on a preliminary price of €38 (US$48.12) per share, which values AlcaLu's stake at about €1.56 billion ($2 billion).

That would be a welcome cash boost for AlcaLu, and the stock market responded accordingly, giving AlcaLu's share price a 6 percent lift to €1.925 ($2.89). The vendor's share price has fallen by more than 63 percent during 2008.

Should the deal go through, investors, analysts, and the rest of the telecom market will watch AlcaLu CEO Ben Verwaayen closely to see what he might want to do with the cash (if anything). Verwaayen has just announced his new management team and is set to unveil a new corporate strategy during December. (See AlcaLu Unveils New Leadership Team.)

Investors will also be waiting anxiously to hear AlcaLu's take on what 2009 might bring, following Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)'s prediction that the telecom equipment market will likely shrink next year (in euro terms). (See Nokia Cuts Device, Networks Outlook.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

gbmorrison 12/5/2012 | 3:26:45 PM
re: AlcaLu Preps Asset Sale It's a smart move and a great price. I hope it actually comes to fruition.
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