Telecoms equipment provider Alcatel-Lucent has agreed to sell off its Genesys business unit for $1.5 billion to private equity firm Permira Partners.
Genesys, which makes enterprise call centre software and had revenues of $500 million in 2010, was acquired by Alcatel-Lucent in 2000. Its 1,800 staff will be transferred to Permira, a European fund which specialises in the telecoms, media and IT sectors.
Somewhat surprisingly, Alcatel-Lucent will hold on to the rest of enterprise division, which primarily sells IP phones and switches. In July, the company had conceded that it was "exploring strategic options" over the enterprise unit following rife speculation that it was looking to jettison it.
For now, this does not seem to be the case, with Alcatel-Lucent insisting that both it and Permira can benefit from synergies between enterprise and Genesys.
"Permira's intended acquisition of Genesys would enable this profitable business to flourish further; with enterprise, we have reached the conclusion that retaining it and strengthening it further serves Alcatel-Lucent and our customers best," commented Ben Verwaayen, CEO, Alcatel-Lucent.
"Our chosen direction is to leverage the natural connections that exist between enterprise and carrier customers, and proactively apply enterprise's strengths and momentum in unified communications and data networking with them."
Permira's acquisition of Genesys is expected to close by the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012.
In 2Q11, Alcatel-Lucent reported revenue of 3.9 billion euros, up 10.4% year-over-year. Sales derived from enterprise applications, telephony and data networks all declined by a low-to-mid single digit rate, while Genesys revenue grew at a high single digit rate.