Ericsson won’t merge

Ericsson quashed talk last week that it is the next telecom giant in line for a big merger, with the Swedish mobile firm insisting that smaller and complementary acquisitions are more likely to happen.

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By  Chris Whyatt Published  April 16, 2006

Ericsson quashed talk last week that it is the next telecom giant in line for a big merger, with the Swedish mobile firm insisting that smaller and complementary acquisitions are more likely to happen. Amid speculation of fresh sector consolidation following Alcatel and Lucent’s potential marriage, CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg played down reports that Ericsson was eyeing up a number of network equipment makers including Canadian vendor Nortel, the comms business arm of Siemens, or US-based Juniper Networks. “I am not particularly interested in bigger acquisitions,” said Svanberg at a press briefing in Stockholm. “We have not looked at Juniper. It is not an acquisition candidate for us,” he added. Sticking to the company line, Svanburg confirmed that Ericsson would continue to make smaller acquisitions on fixed line and internet protocol (IP) telephony. He even predicted that the planned merger between Alcatel and Lucent could create opportunities in the US market for Ericsson by taking out a fixed line competitor. Ericsson last year bought UK-based Marconi for US$2.2billion, and at its AGM last week Svanberg declared that the combination of Ericsson and Marconi has resulted in a powerful portfolio for next-generation converged networks — which is seen as a key market within the industry.

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