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AlcaLu Seals Asset Sale Deal

Ray Le Maistre

9:00 AM -- Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) will get a welcome €1.57 billion ($2.2 billion) boost to its bank account early next year from the sale of its stake in defense firm Thales SA (Paris: TCFP.PA), the vendor announced this morning.

The deal, which has been on the cards for a while now, will see Dassault Aviation buy AlcaLu's 41,262,481 shares for €38 apiece. The sale is expected to close in spring 2009.

The sale of a non-core asset is part of AlcaLu's latest transformation, which was outlined recently by CEO Ben Verwaayen. (See AlcaLu's New Vision: More Convergence and Fresh Blood at AlcaLu.)

The cash will come in handy next year as the vendor expects the size of its addressable market, and, consequently, its revenues, to fall between 8 percent and 12 percent in 2009.

As the announcement of the sale was expected, it didn't have a positive impact on AlcaLu's stock. The vendor's share price currently stands at €1.55, down 2 percent today, and down 68 percent this year.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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