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Mon 1 Jan 2007 01:01 PM

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Region to escape cuts

Alcatel-Lucent looks forward to a prosperous future in the Middle East region following conclusion of merger

The Middle East looks set to escape job cuts now that the US$11.6 billion merger between French telecom equipment maker Alcatel and US firm Lucent Technologies has been completed.

While the firm has already stated that 9,000 jobs - around 10% of its total workforce - will be lost globally, a representative of the company maintains that the 2,000-plus employees in the Middle East are likely to remain unaffected by the job cuts. The reductions will, however, be offset by the 1,700 employees of Nortel's UMTS access business who are expected to transfer to Alcatel-Lucent, now that it has completed its US$320million capture of the business unit.

Vincenzo Nesci, VP of the company's regional unit in the Middle East, said the merger would enable Alcatel-Lucent to expand its presence in the region and increase its competitive edge. "We expect the merger to give us the possibility to enlarge our footprint in the Middle East," he said. "We believe we now have excellent complementaries of technologies and knowledge. Keep in mind that Alcatel has today a stronger presence in the Middle East compared to Lucent, but Lucent also has great experience in this part of the world."

The newly-merged firm is represented in 19 countries across the Middle East and currently makes around US$830 in sales from the region. MEA fits within its Europe and South division.

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