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There is a lot of speculation among the pundits about NOK acquiring the ALU radio business.  That wouldn’t be a bad thing for NOK, as they would bulk up their scale with valuable footprint in the USA.  LTE is just beginning a good run with lots of future business.  It would also provide ALU with cash to further develop their “Manage for Growth” businesses.  The French government should be happy as ALU continues as a French entity.  

But who could buy the radio business?  The gold mine is in the USA footprint – high margins and high data demand.  A Chinese vendor is not politically possible.   AT&T and Verizon Wireless would carp at Ericsson buying the Alcatel-Lucent radio business and owning nearly all their footprints.  Either of these cases would result in significant value destruction.  Perhaps private equity or another Asia-Pacific vendor like Samsung would be interested?  

It seems NOK is the most likely suitor, so I would expect them to drive a hard bargain.  But who knows, an acquisition might or might not happen.  And a merger is probably not in the works.  But with NSN, one should Never Say Never.  

Deeper insight and analysis can be found in ABI Research’s Insight, Nokia: Well Done with MSFT, Now Strike Again While the Iron Is Hot!

 

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