Telecom biggie Nokia taps control over renowned French-American Co. Alcatel-Lucent

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Finnish telecom giant Nokia has gained control of nearly 80% of its French-American rival Alcatel-Lucent, France’s stock market regulator said Monday.

Nokia now holds around 76% of shares and voting rights in Alcatel under its public exchange offer, the French financial market authority, AMF, said in an interim report.

The minimal requirement for Nokia to control at least 50% of shares and voting rights has been “satisfied”, it added.

“The offer therefore is proceeding positively,” the French regulator said, adding its final report was due by Tuesday at the latest.

Once the world’s top mobile phone maker, Nokia hopes the merger will help it become the world’s number one network equipment and service provider.

The acquisition will allow Nokia to expand from telecom networks to Internet networks and “cloud” services to better compete with its global rivals, the Swedish group Ericsson and Huawei of China.

The merged group eyes a combined revenue of nearly 25 billion euros ($27.3 billion).

“We are delighted that the offer has been successful, and that Alcatel-Lucent’s investors share our confidence in the future of the combined company,” Nokia’s chief executive Rajeev Suri said in a statement.

Nokia’s shareholders gave their consent in early December to the offer which has sparked fears of job cuts among staff both in Finland and France.

Under the public exchange offer which ended on December 23, Nokia offered 0.55 Nokia shares for each Alcatel-Lucent share.

In 2015 Nokia recovered from the financial woes it suffered after failing to adapt to the rapid rise of smartphones, which ended with it selling its unprofitable handset division to Microsoft in 2013.

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