Finland’s Nokia has agreed to purchase France’s Alcatel-Lucent for €15,6bn (about R200bn).
The deal will allow them to compete more effectively with market leader Ericsson and fast-growing Chinese rivals Huawei and ZTE.
The boards of both companies have approved the deal and it is expected to be finalised by the first half of 2016 after regulatory approvals.
Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent say that the deal will enable them to better prepare for “the next wave of technological change, including the Internet of things and transition to the cloud”.
Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes said the combination of the companies will “create a European champion and global leader in ultra-broadband, Internet protocol networking and cloud applications”.
Nokia, which last year sold its mobile phone business to Microsoft, has also taken the opportunity to indicate that it is considering “strategic options” for its Here navigation, mapping and location intelligence business. Speculation is mounting about a possible bid by Microsoft or Uber for the Here business. — © 2015 NewsCentral Media