Ericsson snaps shut wallet, damps down acquisition speculation

Sorry, speculators, we're not buying Juniper or Ciena

Ericsson has decided not to follow the example of Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia, telling Reuters it doesn't need a big acquisition.

The company's chief strategy officer, Rima Qureshi told the wire service that the decision to continue going it alone followed a confab of 250 managers earlier this month.

She said that “core development” and organic growth remains the Ericsson strategy.

Any acquisitions, Qureshi continued, would be bolt-ons targeting product portfolios or geographical reach, rather than a marriage-of-the-century style merger.

For example, geographical considerations were behind its acquisition of Sunrise Technology in China, GEOSS in Germany, and TimelessMIND in Canada, all in the current financial year.

The decision leaves Juniper Networks and Ciena – mooted as targets – without suitors. Juniper has had a tumultuous year after abruptly ditching its CEO in November 2014, leading to a lot of speculation that it would be someone's acquisition target.

Ericsson can probably do without the distractions of an acquisition and subsequent ingestion: it's been on a long program of restructuring, and as recently as March laid off 2,200 staff. ®

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