Finland’s Nokia has confirmed that it is in advanced discussions to acquire French-US rival Alcatel-Lucent, in a move that would strengthen its telecoms network equipment business. ‘In relation to recent media speculation Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent confirm that they are in advanced discussions with respect to a potential full combination, which would take the form of a public exchange offer by Nokia for Alcatel-Lucent,’ the two companies announced in a statement on their websites. They added that there is no certainty that discussions will result in an agreement or transaction, stating that ‘a further announcement will be made when appropriate’. Bloomberg cites a person familiar with the matter as saying that Nokia executives are seeking to secure backing for a deal from the French government, which has previously tried to block corporate mergers in the country.
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