Alcatel’s Tchuruk seeks closer Thales ties to gain access

Alcatel’s Tchuruk seeks closer Thales ties to gain
access to defence market

AFX News
Thursday, February 3, 2005

PARIS (AFX) – Alcatel wants to build up its defence communications
business by strengthening its relationship with Thales, in which it
holds a 9.1 pct stake, and is open to every option, said chief
executive Serge Tchuruk.

‘Defence is an important market for Alcatel,’ Tchuruk told daily Le
Figaro in an interview, adding: ‘We now want to build ourselves up
more clearly in the defence communications market beyond our (current)
position in satellites.

‘But it is difficult for us to do this with things as they are… That
is why we want to to develop our relationship with Thales.

‘We are open to every possible option other than the current status
quo,’ he said, reiterating his position on the future of the Thales

‘I have always said our stake in Thales is too much or not enough.’

He said Alcatel is also open to transatlantic acquisitions ‘and why
not in France?’ where he feels there are ‘too many players.’

The company this morning announced it will permit ‘flexibility’ in its
2005 gross margin to allow growth.

But Alcatel is not seeking a major merger ‘as we are already one of
the big boys.’