Despite ongoing speculation, the CEO of Alcatel-Lucent, Ben Verwaayen, has quashed any ideas that a merger with another infrastructure vendor was being considered. Stating that these rumours had been overplayed, Verwaayen claimed that the situation with respect to formally linking with China's Huawei or ZTE had not changed and he was happy with how the company was positioned to gain business in the burgeoning Chinese market.
However, while ZTE has made plain its lack of interest in acquiring a shareholding in Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei would only admit to not being in talks with the French-based firm, but tellingly confessed to being open to ‘cooperation opportunities', without elaborating.
In an attempt to kill off this industry gossip, Verwaayen said the telecoms equipment industry was more focused on transformation than consolidation. "The only strategy you have to understand is your own strategy, never adapt to the other guy's," said Verwaayen.
This robust defence of the company's future has to be viewed against the fact that China represents more than half of Alcatel-Lucent's activities in the Asia-Pacific region, and a Chinese partner would significantly boost its chances of securing additional business within the country.
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