Alcatel-Lucent Eyeing Sale of Enterprise Telecom Business: Report


Alcatel-Lucent is looking to sell its enterprise telecom business, and is said to have hired advisers to evaluate whether a sale or another route -- like an initial public offering -- is the better bet for the business.

The Wall Street Journal reported Alcatel-Lucent's apparent plans Thursday, citing "people familiar with the matter." According to the Journal, the company will look to potentially sell the business to a multifaceted tech leader like Hewlett Packard, another telecom or networking company, or a private equity firm.

The Alcatel-Lucent lines in question include phones, switches, SIP-compatible call center software and a range of other products sold to enterprises, so a deal would undoubtedly affect Alcatel-Lucent channel partners. One of the Journal's sources suggested the business, said to be worth about $1.5 billion, is growing and profitable. But it represents less than 10 percent of Alcatel-Lucent's annual revenue and isn't enough of a fit with its main business of selling networking products to carriers and service providers.

Alcatel-Lucent did not respond to requests for comment by CRN.

Paris-based Alcatel acquired Lucent Technologies in 2006 in a deal worth about $11 billion. Lucent, which was a successor to AT&T's former telco equipment manufacturing division, spun off its former enterprise division as Avaya in 2000.

The combined company has seen a number of executive changes in the past half-decade, including several new channel chiefs. It's also continued a steady flow of new product releases; earlier this month, Alcatel-Lucent launched OpenTouch, a suite of tools to run on top of its converged communications architecture and that leverage its Genesys SIP server and OmniPCX enterprise products. Various individual releases, which include OpenTouch Business Edition (supporting 1,500 users or 3,000 devices), OpenTouch Multimedia Services, and OpenTouch Federation Services, will be released in June or later this year, according to the company.