Nokia labeled press reports about a potential acquisition of Juniper Networks as “rumors,” and said it is not currently in acquisition talks with the Silicon Valley company. Nokia stopped short of saying it is not in any type of strategic talks with the vendor, leaving open the possibility that the two companies may be discussing some type of cooperation. Juniper is a competitor to Alcatel-Lucent, which Nokia purchased last year.
Late Tuesday, CNBC reported that Nokia was interested in buying the company for approximately $16 billion, roughly the same amount Nokia paid for Alcatel-Lucent. Juniper’s stock price rocketed to a 3-month high on Wednesday, but has since settled back to its pre-report levels. CNBC published an update to its original report.
2017 has been a difficult year for Juniper. Sales have been sliding, and the company said recently that it would be “realigning its workforce” in an effort to control costs.
Nokia’s reported interest in Juniper was a departure from the traditional takeover talk that has surrounded the company in the past. Ericsson was widely expected to consider a bid for the Sunnyvale company after Nokia announced its purchase of Alcatel-Lucent.
Juniper has been working hard to adapt its hardware business to the new software-defined networking world. The company says its telco customers are challenged by lack of visibility into cloud architectures and by the challenges of integrating solutions from multiple vendors. Juniper’s proposed solution, called Contrail Cloud, integrates Open Stack through a partnership with Red Hat. The company says its goal is to help service providers mitigate the challenges in building and operating distributed and scalable clouds and to simplify the path to cloud-based mobile and IoT services.