%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)
PARIS (AP) _ French telecommunications equipment supplier Alcatel SA has made an initial bid of an undisclosed amount for the optical fiber unit of U.S. rival Lucent Technologies Inc., Alcatel’s chairman said Thursday.
``Alcatel has made an initial offer. We’ll see how things evolve,″ Alcatel chairman Serge Tchuruk told a news conference.
Tchuruk declined to specify the amount of Alcatel’s bid for Optical Fiber Solutions, which is the world’s second-largest optical fiber group with $2 billion in revenue last year.
Four groups _ Alcatel, Italy’s Pirelli SpA, Japan’s Furukawa Electric Co. and JDS Uniphase Corp. of the United States _ are believed to have bid for the unit.
Lucent spokeswoman Mary Ward declined to comment on bidders for the optical fiber business, based in Norcross, Ga.
She said Lucent was examining several strategic alternatives for the business including a sale or creating a joint venture. It announced March 14 it was looking at its options for the unit as Lucent focuses on its core communications businesses.
Lucent, which was once part of AT&T Corp., is based in Murray Hill, N.J.