Nokia in Advanced Talks to Buy Alcatel-Lucent

(AP) -

Nokia said Tuesday it’s in advanced talks to buy the ailing French telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent, but that there was no certainty about the outcome of the discussions.

In a brief statement, Nokia Corp. said the two companies are in negotiations “with respect to a potential full combination which would take the form of a public exchange offer by Nokia for Alcatel-Lucent.”

The Finnish company gave no details of the talks and declined to give any additional comment except to say that a further announcement would be made when appropriate.

Nokia, formerly the world’s top mobile-phone maker, has struggled to compete with Apple’s iPhone, Google Inc.’s Android operating system and cheaper handsets from Asia, but has made a turnaround since selling off its loss-making handset business to Microsoft a year ago.

Nokia now has three remaining sectors: networks, mapping services and technologies and patents. It expects growth this year in each of them after a good fourth-quarter result in 2014, when it reported a net profit of 443 million euros ($502 million) and sales growth of nearly 10 percent to 3.8 billion euros.

Alcatel-Lucent, which has racked up billions of euros of losses and undergone repeated rounds of restructuring since the 2006 merger of France’s Alcatel and U.S.-based Lucent Technologies, said in 2013 that it plans to lay off 10,000 workers. Last year, it had a net loss of 118 million euros.