Telecomms equipment giant Lucent is to sell its direct sales arm that supplies small and medium sized firms with networking tools.
Lucent has denied this means it will pull out of this sector but said 75 per cent of small and medium sized firms prefer to buy through resellers who could supply them with telecomms services as well as equipment.
The deal only affects the firm's unit in the US. Lucent already uses the channel to sell to small and medium sized businesses in Europe and the rest of the world, explained a spokesperson.
Lucent would not reveal the name of the buyer, saying it would be announced when the sale closes in early June. The unit boasts 1998 revenue of $850 million and employs 2,000 sales staff. The owner will also inherit Lucent's 7,000 strong customer base and will instantly become the telco equipment vendor's largest reseller.
The deal is non exclusive to both parties and Lucent already numbers 1,000 resellers for this market.
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