Reports: Alcatel, Lucent boards to vote on merger

The boards of Alcatel SA and Lucent Technologies Inc. are due to meet Tuesday to consider a merger of their respective companies that will put Alcatel in control, according to press reports Tuesday.

The takeover will be the biggest by a European company of a U.S. business, said a report in the Tuesday edition of the Financial Times, which valued the deal at US$32 billion.

The two companies’ boards are expected to vote on the deal Wednesday, with an announcement due on Thursday, according to the Financial Times.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Alcatel will offer Lucent shareholders $23.5 billion in stock. The deal on the table excludes Lucent’s 58 per cent stake in Agere Systems Inc., worth $7.68 billion, which will still be sold off to Lucent shareholders, the report said.

Together, Alcatel and Lucent could cut costs by $4 billion annually, and fill the gaps in their ranges of products for enterprise customers, the Journal said.

Alcatel has “no comment to make on the reports,” said spokeswoman Fran