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Alcatel-Lucent to raise more than $2.7 billion in turnaround effort

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Alcatel-Lucent today announced plans to raise more than $2.7 billion to speed up the company's turnaround effort.

The French telecommunications equipment maker, which operates in New Jersey mostly through its Bell Labs research arm in the Murray Hill section of New Providence, said it plans to raise $1.29 billion (955 million euros) by selling new shares and another $750 million by issuing high-yield bonds.

The company also has secured a new loan of about $674.5 million (500 million euros.)

The announcements are the latest steps in Alcatel-Lucent's restructuring strategy, called the Shift Plan, which calls for reducing debt, cutting operating expenses, and investing in newer technology, such as cloud computing and Internet routing systems.

CEO Michael Combes has called the Shift Plan a "last chance" at a turnaround for the company, which has struggled since its inception in 2006, when Alcatel and Lucent Technologies merged.

Alcatel-Lucent's cost-cutting strategy includes previously announced plans of 10,000 job cuts globally by the end of 2015. The company hasn't disclosed job reductions by locality but employs about 3,000 in New Jersey, mostly in Murray Hill. It also has a research plant in Holmdel plus remote employees around the state. Alcatel-Lucent employs about 72,000 globally, the bulk outside the United States.

Alcatel-Lucent, which has posted regular losses since inception, on Oct. 31 reported a narrower third-quarter loss of $274,000, down from more than $426,000 in the year-ago quarter, on an uptick in revenue. Third-quarter results included restructuring chargers. The company lost $1.86 billion in 2012.

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