Alcatel finalizes $11b acquisition of Lucent

Alcatel completed its $11.6 billion acquisition of Lucent, creating a new global telecom-equipment maker that can cash in on fast-growing 'triple-play' services offering phone, TV and Internet on a single wire, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press reports said the companies announced completion of the deal in a statement issued after the first meeting of their new combined board in Paris.

Paris-based Alcatel all-stock acquisition of its former US rival was approved September 7 by shareholders both sides of the Atlantic, the report said.

The new company will begin operating as Alcatel-Lucent, the statement said, when its shares will also begin trading on Euronext Paris and the New York Stock Exchange.

'This combination represents a strategic fit of vision, geography, solutions and people,' said Lucent CEO Patricia Russo, formally appointed Alcatel-Lucent CEO during the same board meeting. Outgoing Alcatel boss Serge Tchuruk also stays on as non-executive chairman.

With combined sales of $25 billion in 2005, excluding businesses sold off, Alcatel-Lucent overtakes Ericsson's $21.6 billion in revenue to control about 18% of the fiercely competitive market for telecom gear.

The partners have promised $1.8 billion in annual pretax savings within three years, half of which will be made by cutting about 9,000 jobs, or 10%, of the combined work force.

Although the tie-up was billed as a 'merger of equals,' former Alcatel shareholders control about 60% of the combined company, the report further said.