PARIS AND MURRAY HILL, NJ: This week's blockbuster telecom merger of Alcatel and Lucent Technologies involved two veteran US M&A communications firms working to shepherd the long-anticipated deal to completion.
Lucent tapped Kekst & Company for the transaction, and Alcatel worked with Abernathy MacGregor. Both agencies had strong connections with the companies before the current merger itself.
Lucent VP of PR Mary Beth Ambrus confirmed that the company worked with Kekst, which they have used for "a number of years," as well as the London-based firm Communications & Network Consulting.
She said that Lucent has no AOR and has rarely used PR agencies in the past. She also said that no plans have been made concerning the integration of Lucent's 40-person communications staff.
Kekst referred calls to the client.
Abernathy president Adam Miller said that his agency began working with Alcatel during the company's first attempt to merge with Lucent in 2001. That merger never occurred, but the agency has been working with Alcatel ever since.
Alcatel representatives in France did not return e-mail messages seeking comment.
The deal is expected to close in six to twelve months, barring regulatory roadblocks. The combined company, whose name has not yet been chosen, will be worth approximately $36 billion.