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Too soon to judge impact of Alcatel-Lucent restructuring on N.J.

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An Alcatel-Lucent spokesman said today it's too early to say how a restructuring announced by the Paris-based company's chief executive will impact New Jersey operations.

In an attempt to boost fortunes and return to profitability, CEO Michael Combes said last week the company plans to sell off more than $1.33 billion in assets.

The French company said its turnaround strategy — dubbed the Shift Plan — will include consolidation across global operations but did not specify where or when. Alcatel-Lucent employs about 72,000 worldwide, with about 4 percent of its workforce in New Jersey.

The restructuring is expected to be complete by the end of 2015, Alcatel-Lucent spokesman Kurt Steinert said.

“We will not discuss at this time how this will be done what impact it has on individuals,' Steinert said via e-mail. “We are not yet in a position to discuss specific impacts on particular facilities or geographies.”

Alcatel-Lucent employs about 3,000 in New Jersey, mostly in Murray Hill section straddling New Providence and Berkeley Heights. The company also has a research-focused plant in Holmdel, plus remote employees around the state.

The company said its restructuring calls for more investment in “next-generation networks to address the explosive growth in bandwidth-hungry data,” including more emphasis on cloud technologies.

The company also plans to achieve cost savings by restructuring debt.

French company Alcatel in 2006 purchased Lucent Technologies, an AT&T spinoff, creating Alcatel-Lucent. The company has other U.S. operations in Illinois, Texas, California and Massachusetts, as well as worldwide. 

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