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Regulation

Alcatel, Lucent Near the Altar

Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) took an important step down the aisle today after announcing they have received antitrust approval for their marriage. (See Alcatel, Lucent Seal Deal.)

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) , Lucent noted that the two vendors "had received early termination of the waiting period required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, with respect to the proposed merger transaction involving Lucent and Alcatel."

Lucent noted that the merger, which the duo expected to complete within 6 to 12 months of the April 2 agreement, "remains subject to additional customary regulatory and governmental reviews in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, as well as the approval by shareholders of both Lucent and Alcatel and other customary conditions."

But Prudential Equity Group LLC analyst Inder Singh, in a research note issued today, expects "European antitrust approval shortly, and we also expect US CFIUS [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] approval in the near term."

He adds: "We believe the companies are close to flesh out the expense synergies of the merger, and expect them to begin to discuss these by early July… We expect Lucent and Alcatel to close the transaction in September, well ahead of street expectations, and ahead of Lucent's fiscal year-end."

Lucent's stock is trading down 7 cents, nearly 3 percent, to $2.41 today. It closed at $3.05 the day before the initial deal was signed in early April. (See Alcatel/Lucent: First Reactions.)

Alcatel's share price is down 39 cents, 3 percent, to $12.16 today. It stood at $15.40 the day before the merger papers were signed.

— Ray Le Maistre, International Synergies Editor, Light Reading

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