PARIS and ESPOO, Finland, Sept. 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nokia's President and Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Suri met today with Emmanuel Macron, France's Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, to formally affirm Nokia's commitment to driving innovation in France and, globally, from France, that will result from Nokia's proposed combination with Alcatel-Lucent. Today's announcement follows an open and fruitful dialogue between Nokia and the French Government since the proposed combination was announced in April 2015.
In its discussions with the French Government, Nokia has confirmed that France will play a leading role in the combined entity's Research and Development ("R&D") operations. Nokia will build on the strong competencies in the country within key technology areas, on the existing presence of Alcatel-Lucent and its strong engagement in the technology ecosystem in France, and on the excellent new technical talent available from French universities.
Nokia intends to leverage Alcatel-Lucent's existing capabilities in R&D and its strong talent base through worldwide technology centers located in France that will focus on 5G and Small Cells, Cyber-security and privacy, Bell Labs, Wireless Transmission, Optical transmission, and IP platforms.
Nokia expects to benefit from becoming a deeply embedded part of France, tapping into and helping develop the technology ecosystem of the country. Nokia will invest further in the digital innovation ecosystem in France following the completion of the transaction, primarily through the establishment of a long-term investment fund in the range of EUR 100 million. This fund will mainly target the Internet of Things, cyber-security and software platform enablers for next generation networks.
Nokia intends to support the development of the overall telecom ecosystem in France and to ensure continuity of Alcatel-Lucent's current initiatives. This involves playing an active role in the government's "Industry of the Future" program, funding academic tuition, programs and chairs, situating technology experts within France (such as within Bell Labs France), and continuing Alcatel-Lucent's involvement in major initiatives such as Pôles de compétitivité Systematic, Cap Digital, and Images and Réseaux. Nokia will also develop three industrial platforms and networks prototypes in France within the fields of 5G, Industrial Internet / Internet of Things connectivity and cyber-security.
As previously announced, Nokia has also committed to maintaining employment in France that is consistent with Alcatel-Lucent's Shift Plan commitments for a period of at least two years after completion of the proposed transaction. R&D capacity is planned to be increased from 2 000 to 2 500 employees over the next three years, including the recruitment of at least 300 new graduates. The R&D employment level will be maintained for a period of at least four years after completion of the proposed transaction.
Following the completion of the transaction, Nokia, which will remain headquartered in Finland, intends to leverage the combined strengths of the companies' strategic business locations and major R&D centers in other countries, including Finland, Germany, the United States and China.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2016. It remains subject to a number of other closing conditions, such as Nokia shareholder approvals, Nokia holding over 50.00% of Alcatel-Lucent's fully diluted share capital following completion of the exchange offer, receipt of the remaining regulatory approvals and other customary conditions. Nokia has committed, upon completion of the transaction, to providing regular updates to the French government as the integration of the two companies progresses.
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Alcatel-Lucent is the leading IP networking, ultra-broadband access and cloud technology specialist. It is dedicated to making global communications more innovative, sustainable and accessible for people, businesses and governments worldwide. Its mission is to invent and deliver trusted networks to help its customers unleash their value. Every success has its network.
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This release contains forward-looking statements that reflect Nokia's and Alcatel-Lucent's current expectations and views of future events and developments. Some of these forward-looking statements can be identified by terms and phrases such as "expect," "will" and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements include statements relating to the expected timing of closing of the proposed transaction and satisfaction of conditions precedent, including regulatory conditions. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. These forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of future performance, taking into account the information currently available to us. These forward-looking statements are only predictions based upon our current expectations and views of future events and developments and are subject to risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. Risks and uncertainties include the ability of the parties to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals and consummate the pending transaction.
The forward-looking statements should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included elsewhere, including the Risk Factors section of the Registration Statement (as defined below), Nokia's and Alcatel-Lucent's most recent annual reports on Form 20-F, reports furnished on Form 6-K, and any other documents that Nokia or Alcatel-Lucent have filed with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements made in this release are qualified in their entirety by these cautionary statements, and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by us will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, us or our business or operations. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
This release relates to the proposed public exchange offer by Nokia to exchange all of common stock and convertible securities issued by Alcatel-Lucent for new ordinary shares of Nokia. This release is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to purchase or exchange, or a solicitation of an offer to sell or exchange, all of common stock and convertible securities of Alcatel-Lucent, nor is it a substitute for the Tender Offer Statement on Schedule TO or the Preliminary Prospectus / Offer to Exchange included in the Registration Statement on Form F-4 (the "Registration Statement") to be filed by Nokia with the SEC, the Solicitation / Recommendation Statement on Schedule 14D-9 to be filed by Alcatel-Lucent with the SEC, the listing prospectus of Nokia to be filed by Nokia with the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority or the offer document (note d'information) to be filed by Nokia with, and which will be subject to the review of, the AMF or the response document (note en réponse) to be filed by Alcatel-Lucent with the AMF (including the letter of transmittal and related documents and as amended and supplemented from time to time, the "Exchange Offer Documents"). No offering of securities shall be made in the United States except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933. The proposed exchange offer will be made only through the Exchange Offer Documents.
The making of the proposed exchange offer to specific persons who are residents in or nationals or citizens of jurisdictions outside France or the United States or to custodians, nominees or trustees of such persons (the "Excluded Shareholders") may be made only in accordance with the laws of the relevant jurisdiction. It is the responsibility of the Excluded Shareholders wishing to accept an exchange offer to inform themselves of and ensure compliance with the laws of their respective jurisdictions in relation to the proposed exchange offer. The Exchange Offer Documents have not yet been filed with appropriate regulators, including the SEC. The tender offer will be made only through the Exchange Offer Documents.
INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE EXCHANGE OFFER DOCUMENTS AND ALL OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS THAT NOKIA OR ALCATEL-LUCENT HAS FILED OR MAY FILE WITH THE SEC, AMF, NASDAQ HELSINKI OR FINNISH FINANCIAL SUPERVISORY AUTHORITY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN OR WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION THAT INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS SHOULD CONSIDER BEFORE MAKING ANY DECISION REGARDING THE PROPOSED EXCHANGE OFFER.
The information contained in this release must not be published, released or distributed, directly or indirectly, in any jurisdiction where the publication, release or distribution of such information is restricted by laws or regulations. Therefore, persons in such jurisdictions into which these materials are published, released or distributed must inform themselves about and comply with such laws or regulations. Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent do not accept any responsibility for any violation by any person of any such restrictions.
The Exchange Offer Documents and other documents referred to above, if filed or furnished by Nokia or Alcatel-Lucent with the SEC, as applicable, will be available free of charge at the SEC's website (www.sec.gov).
Once the public exchange offer has been filed by Nokia and approved by the AMF, Nokia's offer document (note d'information) and Alcatel's response document (note en réponse), containing detailed information with regard to the exchange offer, will be available on the websites of the AMF (www.amf-france.org), Nokia (www.nokia.com) and Alcatel-Lucent (www.alcatel-lucent.com).
Further information on the transaction can be found at: www.newconnectivity.com
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