Permira closes $1.5bn Alcatel-Lucent deal


UK-based private equity firm Permira has finalised an agreement with listed mobile technology company Alcatel-Lucent to acquire its Genesys corporate call centre software unit for $1.5bn.

The news follows months of speculation as to how much of the Alcatel-Lucent business was on the table and whether or not the Genesys sale would go ahead due to finance issues.

The deal represents one of the largest buy-outs in Europe in the second half of 2011, as firms struggle to secure financing amid ever-tightening credit markets. Shares in Alcatel-Lucent rallied following the news and are currently trading at €2.014.

With backing from LA-based buy-out firm the Gores Group, Siemens Enterprise Communications also expressed an interest in acquiring Alcatel-Lucent, although reportedly pulled out.

Alcatel-Lucent focuses on mobile, fixed, IP and optics technologies, and a pioneer in applications and services. The company includes Bell Labs, the centres of research and innovation in communications technology. The group recorded revenues of €16bn in 2010 and is incorporated in France and headquartered in Paris.

Brian Ruder, a partner at Permira, said, “Genesys is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading providers of customer service software and contact centre solutions, and we are excited by the long-term growth potential of this business. With an exceptional brand, differentiated technologies and a blue-chip customer base, Genesys is well-positioned to continue to take advantage of the positive trends in its expanding markets.”

Permira is currently involved in an ongoing bidding war with for a controlling stake in Renaissance Learning. The rival bidder, US education giant Plato, recently submitted a revised offer of $496m for the company.

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