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Optical/IP

AlcaLu to Sell Thales

8:50 AM -- Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is on the verge of selling its 20.8 percent stake in defense and space systems firm Thales SA (Paris: TCFP.PA) to Dassault Aviation, according to a report in French newspaper La Tribune.

With Thales's stock currently trading at €33.49, up 7.5 percent today on the Paris exchange, AlcaLu's stake is worth about €1.38 billion (US$1.88 billion).

None of the parties is commenting on the report.

The prospect of a cash injection from a potential sale helped AlcaLu's stock, too -- it is trading up more than 13 percent today in Paris at €1.94.

AlcaLu transferred its space assets to Thales in April 2007 following the merger of Alcatel and Lucent. Since then, though, the vendor has looked to divest non-core assets, so the sale of its Thales holding would be in line with that strategy. (See AlcaLu Sells Fiber Stake and AlcaLu Transfers Space Assets.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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