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VoIP Systems

AlcaLu Seeks Buyer for Enterprise Biz

If you didn't remember that Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) sells desktop phones and contact center software to enterprises, don't worry. Word has it the company wants to sell off that business.

The Wall Street Journal, which posted the story online Thursday night, says the enterprise business line's annual revenues are US$1.5 billion and that its valuation might exceed $2 billion. (See AlcaLu Unveils OpenTouch Suite and AlcaLu Targets Enterprises With WFO.)

Who might buy? The Journal says AlcaLu has only begun touting the business. Speculating on likely buyers, the report lists Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and -- you guessed it -- private equity firms.

AlcaLu isn't doing this out of distress; in fact, the company's stock has about doubled since the beginning of the year. It's more that products such as telephones and call-center hardware aren't exactly essential to AlcaLu's telecom-network mission.

In fact, the report reminds us that Lucent already sold its enterprise division long ago. That's what begat Avaya Inc.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

FbytF 12/5/2012 | 5:07:26 PM
re: AlcaLu Seeks Buyer for Enterprise Biz

True Lucent spun off what is now Avaya which is all the more reason you'd think they'd know better.  Spinning Avaya was a mistake and now it appears they're considering making the same mistake again.  Lucent spun Avaya to survive and lived to regret it, doesn't appear Alcatel-Lucent "needs" to spin the Enterprise business, so what's the motive?  Cash in for a short term gain? 

yarn 12/5/2012 | 5:07:26 PM
re: AlcaLu Seeks Buyer for Enterprise Biz

Your title suggests the whole enterprise business is on the block, but the WSJ article says that ALU was just shopping around its enterprise phone business. A bit misleading. Perhaps if you abbreviate to ALU you got the extra header space to squeeze a phone in:o)

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:07:25 PM
re: AlcaLu Seeks Buyer for Enterprise Biz

Thanks, yarn, but I've reread the WSJ story, and I still think it pertains to the whole enterprise business. Am I missing something?

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 5:07:24 PM
re: AlcaLu Seeks Buyer for Enterprise Biz

Regarding the motive... pure speculation here, but maybe it comes from private equity companies suggesting they'd be interested buyers.

yarn 12/5/2012 | 5:07:24 PM
re: AlcaLu Seeks Buyer for Enterprise Biz

Tbh, I'm not sure. Maybe you are right Craig and the WSJ title is misleading. The number of 1.5 billion makes me pause. It seems big for just the enterprise phone gear, but it'd still be a surprise if it includes their Enterprise data gear as well.

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