Lucent - Alcatel Might Not Get Done

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by ImamicPH, Oct 4, 2006.


    NEW YORK, Oct 4 (Reuters) - U.S. officials have extended their review of French communications equipment maker Alcatel's (CGEP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) proposed acquisition of U.S. rival Lucent Technologies Inc. (LU.N: Quote, Profile, Research) beyond the basic 30-day review, a source familiar with the situation said on Wednesday.

    The source said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. Treasury-led panel which reviews the national security implications of deals with foreign companies, was now in an additional 45-day investigation following a 30-day review that ended some time last month.

    Lucent said on Aug. 23 that it had filed a formal notice to CFIUS seeking approval of Alcatel's acquisition bid, valued at around $10 billion. The committee's approval is necessary although the deal has already won approval from shareholders of both companies and anti-trust officials in the United States and Europe.

    The extended, 45-day investigation is not uncommon, especially when companies have government contracts.

    Lucent's government work includes an advanced communications system for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Pentagon's technology incubator.

    Such extended investigations must then be reported to the U.S. President, who must announce a final decision within 15 days. In total the process can not exceed 90 days.

    Lucent spokeswoman Joan Campion declined to comment on the status of the CFIUS investigation, but said: "It is our understanding that the process could take up to 90 days." Alcatel declined to comment.

    In a bid to soothe concerns about risks to national security, Lucent has agreed to create a separate U.S. unit that would be run by Americans and handle sensitive government contracts. Experts have said officials will likely approve the deal.

    National security concerns have scuttled some deals, such as last year's bid by China's state-controlled CNOOC Ltd. (0883.HK: Quote, Profile, Research) for oil and gas company Unocal Corp. Other deals have won government clearance after the companies agreed to security-related concessions.

    Some lawmakers have called for tighter rules on approving foreign takeovers of U.S. companies after controversy over CFIUS's decision to approve Dubai Ports World's acquisition of U.S. port assets.

    © Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

    Looks like they needed some more time to look over the deal.