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Alcatel-Lucent considers enterprise future

Speculation rife that telecoms equipment provider could dump enterprise unit

Alcatel-Lucent considers enterprise future
Alcatel-Lucent is considering the future of its enterprise business

Telecoms infrastructure vendor Alcatel-Lucent has conceded that it is "exploring strategic options" over the future of its enterprise business, following speculation that it looking to offload the division.

A statement posted on the Paris-based provider's website read: "All options are being explored including discussions with third parties." It added, however, that "no decision has been made on the options being explored and there is no certainty that this review will result in any change to the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise business".

In the company's 1Q11 financial results, the enterprise business posted sales of 285 million euros, up 5.2% on the year ago quarter. The division is reportedly profitable. By way of comparison, the group's entire revenue in the same quarter was 3.74 billion euros, up 15.2% year-over-year.

The enterprise business specialises in selling switches and IP phones to call centres. In 2000, Alcatel-Lucent augmented the unit with the acquisition of Genesys, a maker of call centre software.

Speculation has been rife this year that Alcatel-Lucent is looking to offload the enterprise division, which has few synergies with its main business of selling infrastructure to telecommunications providers.

In April, Reuters news agency reported that the company held meetings in San Francisco in a bid to find a buyer for the enterprise business. The article quoted anonymous sources who claimed Alcatel-Lucent's asking price was about $1.2 billion, naming Siemens Enterprise Communications as a potential suitor.

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