Alcatel in talks with Unify to sell enterprise unit: report

Alcatel-Lucent SA is reportedly holding talks with potential buyers over the sale of its enterprise unit.

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Alcatel-Lucent SA is in talks with potential buyers of its enterprise unit, the sale of which could help the company streamline its operations and focus on mobile technologies.

According to Bloomberg, three people familiar with the matter say potential buyers include Gores Group and Siemens venture Unify GmbH & Co. KG, known as Siemens Enterprise Communications last year -- as well as two other buyers including a Chinese investor.

The unit sells enterprise-based services and equipment to companies and reported revenue €764 million ($1 billion) in 2012. According to unions, the enterprise sector employs roughly 2,800 people -- 1,400 based in France. However, as Alcatel works on slimming down its portfolio and focusing on mobile network contracts, the company has tried to offload other enterprise-related assets in the past.

In 2012, Alcatel announced the sale of its Genesys customer relationship management unit for $1.5bn to Permira. Genesys reported 2010 sales of approximately $500 million.

The publication's sources say that second-round bids are currently being prepared by interested parties, and a decision is possible between now and March. The sale of the unit could generate as much as 250 million euros, despite financial losses last year.

In October, Alcatel announced the removal of 10,000 jobs, roughly 15 percent of the firm's overall workforce, in order to focus on next-generation technologies including ultra-broadband, cloud and IP networking.