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Nokia Record Cash Makes Alcatel Wireless Unit a Target: Real M&A

Nokia Oyj’s sale of its handset business is clearing the way for a 2 billion euro ($2.7 billion) takeover of Alcatel-Lucent SA’s wireless network-equipment unit.

With Nokia receiving 5.44 billion euros next year for selling its handset unit to Microsoft Corp., the company’s cash is set to exceed 14 billion euros, its highest balance on record and the eighth-most among non-finance companies in Europe, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At the same time, Alcatel-Lucent Chief Executive Officer Michel Combes is accelerating plans to scale down, including selling assets, to help the unprofitable French company survive.