Alcatel moves closer to Genesys sale: sources

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 13, 2011 10:24 AM
Alcatel moves closer to Genesys sale: sources

LONDON (Reuters) - Alcatel-Lucent, the Franco-American telecom equipment maker, is moving closer to selling its Genesys corporate call center to private equity group Permira, people close to the matter said.

Two of the people said on Thursday a transaction was close, while a third person said that, while talks were ongoing, there was no guarantee a deal would be struck.

The Financial Times had reported a sale of the business would be announced for as much as $1.5 billion in the coming week.

Genesys, which sits within Alcatel-Lucent's enterprise division, sells software for the operation of call centers and video conferencing and is attractive for high margins.

Permira had been in exclusive talks to buy the business since July, but exclusivity came to an end in September, sending Alcatel-Lucent stock down and raising doubts about an eventual deal.

Permira's proposal was selected because it was seen as carrying less risk. Industrial players Avaya and Cisco bowed out earlier in the bidding.

Gores Group, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm and Siemens Enterprise Communication had also been looking.

Alcatel-Lucent and Permira both declined to comment.

(Reporting by Victoria Howley and Stephen Mangan; Editing by Dan Lalor)