Bulk of Alcatel's 120 plants to go

Alcatel SA, the French phone equipment maker, is selling most of its 120 plants in a move to streamline its operations.

SINGAPORE--Alcatel SA, the French phone equipment maker, is selling most of its 120 plants in a move to streamline its operations.

"Our priority isn't in manufacturing," Alcatel CEO Serge Tchuruk told reporters.

The company had 120 factories globally five years ago. It plans to reduce this number to about a dozen.

The sale of the facilities could impact 11,000 workers. "Outsourcing of our production will affect about 10 percent of our global workforce," Bloomberg reported. The company has a headcount of 110,000.

It did not specify which factories would be involved in the sale, and whether any jobs would be lost. However, it plans to sell some factories to contract manufacturers, who will continue to make products for Alcatel. It will keep the plants that make undersea networks, satellites and optical equipment. It did not say when the facilities would be sold.

Alcatel, which is Europe's fourth largest phone maker, will take a 3 billion euro (US$2.5 billion) restructuring charge this quarter.

The company will focus on research and development. "Our business today is an R&D business," Tchuruk said. The company has about 28,000 staff in R&D.