US-based Lucent Technologies announced a $114 million bid to acquire local telecom manufacturer JNA yesterday.
In a media statement, Lucent said the acquisition would double its design, development, sales and service capabilities in the Australian telecommunications market.
JNA's manager of marketing and products, Bill Hayne, would not comment about the offer. However, he did admit that JNA had been in talks with "quite a large number of global players".
If successful, Lucent would distribute a number of JNA products globally, in addition to continued supply to the Australian market.
JNA's research and development organisation would be integrated into Lucent's global Bell Labs to develop products purely for the Australian market.
Mike Butcher, president of Lucent Technologies Asia/Pacific, said the acquisition would support the company's rapid expansion in the region and its global growth plans. Butcher indicated major JNA shareholders had agreed to enter options to allow Lucent to purchase 19.9 per cent of JNA. This option, subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board, can be exercised when the takeover offer for shares becomes unconditional.
JNA is a Sydney-based telecom manufacturer, reseller and systems integrator that earned revenues of nearly $65 million in the 1997 calendar year. In its 37 years of operation, JNA has established itself as the incumbent digital data network (DDN) supplier to Telstra.