Cisco rubbishes Nokia merger rumours

Finland's mobile giant doesn't come close to matching Cisco's idea of a tempting takeover target

Cisco chief executive John Chambers has poured cold water on reports that the networking equipment vendor might buy mobile giant Nokia.

Speaking after Cisco announced a rise in profits, Chambers insisted that it was "extremely unlikely" that his company would attempt to acquire a large, publicly listed company.

Chambers also said that Cisco would generally be interest in a company if it had a similar culture to Cisco's, and was located close to Cisco's own offices or in a country where Cisco has a strong existing presence — all of which appear to rule out Finland-based Nokia.

"It is extremely unlikely for us to ever do a large acquisition. My view is, most [sic] all of them fail," Chambers told analysts and journalists.

UK newspaper The Business  reported last weekend that Cisco has identified Nokia as a likely takeover target. This claim was widely reported, and helped to send shares on the New York stock exchange higher.

Although Chambers' reaction to the story was dismissive, he didn't go as far as to issue a blanket denial.

"I was surprised the market gave it any credence at all," he told Reuters.

Cisco reported profits of $1.54bn (£862m) in the three months to 30 July, a 12 percent year-on-year rise.