Huawei exec: We're open to an acquisition

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Huawei is keeping its options open in terms of acquisitions, but does not have any specific rivals in its sights at the moment, according to a senior executive.

Ken Hu, Huawei's CMO, said at the Reuters Global Technology Summit that the Chinese vendor will take "cross-cultural" considerations into account when deciding about any acquisitions. However, he dismissed chatter about a takeover of struggling vendor Alcatel-Lucent (NASDAQ: ALU) as a rumor. Huawei batted down reports last summer that it was thinking of an Alcatel-Lucent acquisition.

"When we think about making an acquisition we need to think about our capability to consolidate the new business and whether we will be able to manage it well, especially for the cross-cultural element," Hu said.

The world's No. 2. equipment vendor more than doubled its 2009 net profit on the back of increased sales, exchange-rate gains and its efforts to push into more developed markets. The closely held Chinese company said its net profit reached $2.68 billion, up from $1.14 billion in 2008. Huawei won several high-profile LTE deals late last year in the backyards of Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and Nokia Siemens Networks. The company is also conducting LTE trials with Vodafone and T-Mobile International.

Despite the wins, Hu said the company has respect for Alcatel-Lucent, which has posted a quarterly profit only twice since 2006, when Alcatel bought Lucent Technologies. "Alcatel is a respectable company and currently Alcatel Lucent is doing great, especially in providing the end users with very good service experience," he said.

Hu also said that right now Huawei has no plans to spin off its devices business.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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