Alcatel-Lucent, with approximately 2,700 employees in New Jersey, and Nokia announce their intention to combine to create an innovation leader in next generation technology and services for an IP connected world. The two companies have entered into a memorandum of understanding under which Nokia will make an offer for all of the equity securities issued by Alcatel-Lucent, through a public exchange offer in France and in the United States, on the basis of 0.55 of a new Nokia share for every Alcatel-Lucent share. The all-share transaction values Alcatel-Lucent at EUR 15.6 billion ($16.6 billion US) on a fully diluted basis, corresponding to a fully diluted premium of 34 percent (equivalent to EUR 4.48 per share), and a premium to shareholders of 28 percent (equivalent to EUR 4.27 per share), on the unaffected weighted average share price of Alcatel-Lucent for the previous three months. This is based on Nokia’s unaffected closing share price of EUR 7.77 on April 13, 2015.
Each company’s Board of Directors has approved the terms of the proposed transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of 2016. The proposed transaction is subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders, completion of relevant works council consultations, receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.
Corporate structure and governance
The planned combined company would be headquartered in Finland, with strategic business locations and major R&D centers in France, and many other countries including Germany, the United States and China. The business is expected to operate under the Nokia brand and intends to retain the Bell Labs brand to host its networks-focused innovation activities.
Risto Siilasmaa is planned to serve as chairman, and Rajeev Suri as chief executive officer. The combined company’s Board of Directors is planned to have nine or ten members, including three members from Alcatel-Lucent, one of whom would serve as vice chairman.
Nokia also announces today that it has initiated a review of strategic options for its HERE business. That review is ongoing, it may or may not lead to a transaction, and any further announcements about HERE will be made in due course, as appropriate.
Nokia Technologies, a source of superb innovation, expertise and intellectual property, is not impacted by today’s announcements and will stay as a separate entity with a clear focus on incubating new technologies and sharing those technologies through an active licensing program.
Nokia shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki (ticker:NOK1V), and on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of American Depositary Receipts (ticker:NOK). In addition, Nokia will apply for a listing of Nokia’s shares on NYSE Euronext Paris in connection with the public exchange offer.Enabling the connected world
Enabling the connected world
The combined company will be uniquely positioned to create the foundation of seamless connectivity for people and things wherever they are. This foundation is essential for enabling the next wave of technological change, including the Internet of Things and transition to the cloud.
The combined company will have unparalleled innovation capabilities, with Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs and Nokia’s FutureWorks, as well as Nokia Technologies, which will stay as a separate entity with a clear focus on licensing and the incubation of new technologies.
With more than 40,000 R&D employees and spend of EUR 4.7 billion in R&D in 2014, the combined company will be in a position to accelerate development of future technologies including 5G, IP and software-defined networking, cloud, analytics as well as sensors and imaging.
Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia have highly complementary portfolios and geographies, with particular strength in the United States, China, Europe and Asia-Pacific. They will also bring together the best of fixed and mobile broadband, IP routing, core networks, cloud applications and services. This combination is expected to create access to an expanded addressable market with improved long term growth opportunities.
Consumers are looking to access data, voice and video across networks of all kinds. In this environment technology that used to operate independently now needs to work well together. That is not always the case today, but together Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent are uniquely suited to helping telecom operators, internet players and large enterprises address this challenge.
“Together, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia intend to lead in next-generation network technology and services, with the scope to create seamless connectivity for people and things wherever they are,” said Rajeev Suri, president and chief executive officer of Nokia.
“Our innovation capability will be extraordinary, bringing together the R&D engine of Nokia with that of Alcatel-Lucent and its iconic Bell Labs. We will continue to combine this strength with the highly efficient, lean operations needed to compete on a global scale.
“We have hugely complementary technologies and the comprehensive portfolio necessary to enable the internet of things and transition to the cloud. We will have a strong presence in every part of the world, including leading positions in the United States and China.
“Together, we expect to have the scale to lead in every area in which we choose to compete, drive profitable growth, meet the needs of global customers, develop new technologies, build on our successful intellectual property licensing, and create value for our shareholders.
“For all these reasons, I firmly believe that this is the right deal, with the right logic, at the right time.”
The proposed transaction is expected to offer financial benefits to both Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent shareholders.
The combined company will be positioned to target a larger addressable market with an improved growth profile. Based on Nokia estimates, the addressable market of the combined company in 2014 was approximately 50 percent larger than the current addressable networks market for Nokia alone, increasing from approximately EUR 84 billion to approximately EUR 130 billion. The combined company is expected to have a stronger growth profile than Nokia’s current addressable market, with an estimated CAGR of approximately 3.5 percent for 2014-2019.
The combined company would target approximately EUR 900 million of operating cost synergies to be achieved on a full year basis in 2019, assuming closing of the transaction in the first half of 2016. The operating cost synergies are expected to create a long-term structural cost advantage, coming from a wide-range of areas, including:
Organizational streamlining, rationalisation of overlapping products and services, central functions, and regional and sales organizations
Reduction of various overhead costs in real estate, manufacturing and supply-chain, information technology, and overall general and administrative expenses, including redundant public company costs
Procurement given expanded purchasing requirements of the combined company
The combined company would also target approximately EUR 200 million of reductions in interest expenses to be achieved on a full year basis in 2017. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Nokia earnings on a non-IFRS basis (excluding restructuring charges and amortization of intangibles) in 2017. These targets both assume closing of the transaction in the first half of 2016.
The combined company is expected to have a strong balance sheet, with combined net cash at December 31, 2014 of EUR 7.4 billion, assuming conversion of all Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent convertible bonds.
Nokia maintains its long term target to return to an investment grade credit rating and intends to manage the combined capital structure accordingly by retaining significant gross and net cash positions and by proactively reducing indebtedness. This includes Nokia’s intention to exercise an early repayment option for its EUR 750 million convertible bond in the fourth quarter of 2015, which is expected to result in the full conversion of this convertible bond to equity prior to the closing of the transaction, with no expected cash outflow.
Nokia will suspend its capital structure optimization program, including suspending the share repurchase program execution, effective immediately until the closing of the transaction. Following the closing of the transaction, Nokia intends to evaluate the resumption of a capital structure optimization program for the combined company.
The proposed transaction does not impact Nokia’s ability and intent to continue annual dividend payments. Nokia’s Board of Directors dividend proposal of EUR 0.14 for the year ended December 31, 2014 is maintained.Related Articles: