Finland’s Nokia is close to a deal to buy Alcatel-Lucent’s mobile networks business to boost its core business, especially in the United States and China, Les Echos newspaper reported on Monday.
Alcatel and Nokia declined to comment.
The business generated sales of 4.7 billion euros last year, or about one third of the group total, Les Echos said.
The newspaper added that any deal would be closely watched by French politicians, as Alcatel was considered a strategic company for the country.
The French economy ministry had no immediate comment.
A source familiar with the matter said on Friday that Nokia was considering selling its Here maps business. Analysts have seen few synergies between the unit and Nokia’s mainstay network equipment business following its exit from handsets. Nokia has hired a financial adviser to explore a sale, the source said.
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