The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to get the most feathers with the least hissing - Jeane Baptiste Colbert
INFRASTRUCTURE EQUIPMENT PROVIDER Alcatel-Lucent has gone cap in hand to Goldman Sachs for a loan to strengthen its balance sheet.
Alcatel-Lucent, which was the combination of Lucent and French network equipment provider Alcatel, has been going through a tough few years as it battles against rivals such as Huawei, Nokia Siemens and Ericsson. Now the firm has reportedly looked to investment bank Goldman Sachs for a loan in return for the firm putting up some of its assets as collateral.
According to Bloomberg's sources, the amount of the loan has yet to be disclosed and the firm even mooted the prospect of selling assets including its undersea cable and enterprise businesses. The sources said discussions about the sale were still at an early stage and claimed neither asset could fetch more than €1bn, highlighting just how far the firm has fallen in recent years.
Alcatel-Lucent needs to sort out its balance sheet because the firm needs to service more than €2bn debt in the next three years. The company might have to look at its vast patents portfolio, though whether it might sell them or merely license them is not clear at this stage.
With Huawei and ZTE winning business away from European vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens, it is not surprising that the firm is having to take drastic action in order to keep the lights on. However for Alcatel-Lucent it is a embarrassing situation for the firm. µ
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