WASHINGTON – President George W. Bush has approved the proposed $11.8 billion takeover of Lucent Technologies by Alcatel of France, saying the merger of the two telecommunications equipment companies does not present any major national security concerns.
The White House press secretary, Tony Snow, traveling with Bush in Hanoi, said Friday night that the president agreed with the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to allow the deal to go through, removing the last major regulatory hurdle to the combination of the two companies.
The merged company will become one of the world’s largest telecommunications equipment suppliers, generating about $25 billion in sales and accounting for about an 18 percent share of the market.
Snow said Alcatel and Lucent had agreed with U.S. government agencies to enter into “robust and far-reaching agreements designed to ensure the protection of our national security.”
Lucent is the parent of Bell Labs, the legendary research organization that has generated more than 31,000 patents since 1925 and is credited with inventing the transistor. Lucent, with headquarters in New Jersey, employs about 29,800 people worldwide. Its chief executive, Patricia Russo, will run the new company from Paris, where Alcatel is based.
Alcatel employs 58,000 people and operates in more than 130 countries. Alcatel’s chief executive, Serge Tchuruk, will be chairman of the new company.
Fuente: International Herald Tribune