This is the same old song they have been whining since 2001.After a decade, you would think they could get it right. This looks like a dead company walking.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732400110457816...
If the link dose not work beacuse of subscription requirements, here is the story.Alcatel Seeks to Mortgage Assets to Buy Time .By SAM SCHECHNER and DANA CIMILLUCA Alcatel-Lucent SA ALU.FR -2.94%is considering mortgaging parts of its past and future as it looks to buy time for a restructuring.The Paris-based telecom-equipment maker is exploring offering one of its fastest-growing units—its Internet-routing business—as backing for as much as €1 billion ($1.31 billion) in badly needed loans, according to people familiar with the company's refinancing plans.Also under consideration is pledging the company's valuable portfolio of patents from Bell Labs, the storied New Jersey research center, one of the people added. For Alcatel, making a loan guarantee out of one of its best hopes for future growth, or out of the fruit of its long legacy, would be the first step in a high-wire attempt to engineer a turnaround, after years of hemorrhaging cash. While the company has ample cash on hand, analysts say, it needs a bigger cushion to help ease investors' concerns—and to avoid spooking potential clients from entering long-term deals. Only then will it have enough time to implement €1.25 billion in cost cuts the company says it needs. Pressure is building to come up with a solution. On Thursday night, Alcatel was axed from France's benchmark CAC-40 stock index, effective Christmas Eve, said trans-Atlantic stock-market operator NYSE Euronext NYX +0.21%. The decision marked the latest indignity for the company, after its debt was downgraded last week by Moody's Investors Service, which said that Alcatel's management "will be challenged to cut costs fast enough to curb cash consumption." A loan agreement may not materialize quickly. Alcatel-Lucent and banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS -0.76%and Credit Suisse Group CSGN.VX -0.35%had been hoping to nail down a refinancing deal in December, but now that timeline looks likely to slip, one of the people familiar with the matter said. Spokeswomen for Goldman and Credit Suisse each declined to comment.An Alcatel-Lucent spokesman declined to comment on the refinancing, but said the company is "aggressively" trying to improve performance "and install sustainable profitability for the long term." He added that the company remains listed on stock exchanges in Paris and New York. The company may consider other options, including asset sales. Another significant possibility, if Alcatel-Lucent can't come up with new loans, is a rights issue, in which the company would raise cash by issuing new stock, according to a person familiar with the refinancing talks. Such a move would dilute Alcatel's shares, already down by more than half since March. "I think there are three or four options," said Paul Tufano, Alcatel's chief financial officer, at an analyst conference last month. "We're doing it in such a way that it will provide the ability to take the liquidity issue off the table," he said, without providing specifics. Alcatel-Lucent's Internet-routing business is one of its gems. It had 20% growth in revenue in the third quarter of 2012, while total Alcatel revenue slipped 9.7%, in constant exchange-rate terms. The business could be worth €4.53 billion in liquidation, according to estimates from Bernstein Research, far more than the entire company's current market capitalization of €2.06 billion as of the close of Paris trading Thursday. Alcatel's patent portfolio, which could also be used to back debt, is another one of the company's most valuable assets, bankers and executives say. Alcatel says it has more than 27,900 patents and regularly touts Bell Labs' history of research, which stretches back to the dawn of telecommunications. It is hoping to start licensing its patents to make them into a revenue-generating business. There are risks for Alcatel in mortgaging some of its best assets to pay the bills. In the long term, if it should ever sink into bankruptcy or default on the debt, those assets would belong to its banks. But such a move could have a short-term impact, too, said Pierre Ferragu, an analyst at Bernstein Research. "Clients may not like buying from businesses that could end up in the hands of a bank," he said.
Best Of |
Favorites & Replies |
Start a New Board |
My Fool |