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Alcatel-Lucent merger raises questions about satellite unit
Posted: Mon, Apr 3, 2006, 2:06 PM ET (1806 GMT)
A merger announced Sunday between telecom equipment manufacturers Alcatel and Lucent has left unresolved for now the fate of Alcatel's satellite manufacturing division, which could be sold to another European company. On Sunday Paris-based Alcatel announced that it was acquiring US-based Lucent in a stock swap valued at $13.4 billion. The merged company will be headquartered in Paris, but with an American chief executive. The merger announcement did not reveal, however, the fate of Alcatel Alenia Space, Alcatel's satellite manufacturing division. Alcatel is reportedly planning to sell the unit to another European company, such as Thales, although EADS also expressed interest in purchasing the unit and merging it with its own satellite manufacturer, Astrium. Thales announced Sunday that it will be holding a board meeting on Tuesday to discuss "a project aimed at developing Thales and strengthening the existing partnership between Thales and Alcatel", which many believe is a deal to acquire Alcatel's satellite unit.
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