Bloomberg News

Alcatel Said to Near Sale of Call-Center Unit to Permira

October 13, 2011

(Updates with background on Alcatel from second paragraph.)

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Alcatel-Lucent SA, the Franco- American manufacturer of networking gear, is close to a deal to sell its Genesys call-center software unit to Permira Advisers LLP, two people familiar with the process said.

The unit may fetch $1.5 billion and an agreement may be announced next week, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the negotiations are private. Alcatel-Lucent, based in Paris, in July began a review of “strategic options” for its enterprise communications division, of which Genesys is a part.

Chief Executive Officer Ben Verwaayen is selling assets as he concludes a three-year turnaround plan at Alcatel-Lucent, created with the 2006 merger of Alcatel SA and Lucent Technologies. Last year, Alcatel sold its vacuum technology unit for 200 million euros ($275 million), after divesting a stake in the aerospace company Thales SA in 2009.

Verwaayen is focusing on selling networking gear to telecommunications operators like Vodafone Group Plc, an industry in which it competes with China’s Huawei Technologies Co. and Ericsson AB. Alcatel-Lucent hasn’t reported an annual profit since 2005.

News of Alcatel-Lucent and Permira nearing a deal to sell the Genesys unit was reported earlier by Reuters.

--With assistance from Matthew Campbell in Paris. Editors: Chris V. Nicholson, Julie Alnwick

To contact the reporters on this story: Anne-Sylvaine Chassany in Paris at achassany@bloomberg.net; Jacqueline Simmons in Paris at jackiem@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jacqueline Simmons at jackiem@bloomberg.net


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