Published December 14, 2012
Struggling Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) scored a $2.1 billion financing pact as the telecom-equipment company attempts to climb out of the red and refinance debt.
The deal fueled enthusiasm in the markets, driving the French company’s shares about 10% higher in premarket trading.
The telecom-equipment company said it plans to use the new cash to extend its maturity profile over the next several years and provide additional flexibility to finalize its previously-announced restructuring program. The program includes 1.25 billion euros of cost-cutting moves.
“We will take advantage of the flexibility provided by this new financing in order to aggressively look at all options to drive long-term sustainable profitability, enhance our strategic positioning and improve our balance sheet,” CEO Ben Vervwaayen said in a statement.
The financing pact comes as somewhat of a surprise as the markets had anticipated a smaller package of loans and reports suggested a deal wouldn’t come until next year.
Alcatel-Lucent’s U.S. subsidiary is the actual borrower for the financing, which will have maturities of three and a half years to six years. The deal is expected to be secured by the company’s portfolio of intellectual property, likely including patents from its famed Bell Labs assets.
The Alcatel-Lucent deal is the latest example of the availability of affordable financing in the bond markets, thanks largely to extraordinary measures by the Federal Reserve to flood the system with cash.
Shares of Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent soared 10% to $1.21 ahead of Friday’s open. The stock closed down 30% on the year as of Thursday.