Ekinops acknowledges talks with Nokia on possible purchase of Alcatel Submarine Networks

Responding to press speculation, French optical network hardware developer Ekinops acknowledged that it has had discussions with Nokia regarding a possible purchase of Alcatel Submarine Networks. The company stressed that there is no guarantee such discussions will play to anything and added it will have no more to say on the matter unless a deal is reached or negotiations break down.

Nokia has been said to be looking to offload its Alcatel Submarine Networks subsidiary ever since it purchased Alcatel-Lucent in 2016 (see “Nokia nears closing of Alcatel-Lucent acquisition, holds nearly 80% of Alcatel-Lucent shares”). In fact, Alcatel-Lucent had attempted to sell the unit before the Nokia acquisition closed (see “Nokia unveils company structure post Alcatel-Lucent acquisition“).

As its name implies, the business unit develops technology and offers installation services for submarine cable networks (see, for example, “Hong Kong-Americas submarine cable system swells transpacific deployment trend”). Competitor TE Connectivity announced an agreement last month to sell its submarine network unit, TE SubCom, to Cerberus Capital Management, LP, for $325 million in cash (see “TE Connectivity to sell TE Subcom to Cerberus Capital Management”). As part of the announcement, TE Connectivity commented it had expected SubCom’s contribution to overall profit to be “minimal,” which may help explain why it has taken Nokia so long to find a buyer for Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks.