Lucent Technologies has agreed to sell most of the assets of its consumer telephone business, including rights to the AT&T brand, to Hong Kong-based VTech for $113.3 million.
This is Lucent's second bid to exit the consumer market. In 1997 it contributed that operation to a worldwide joint venture, Philips Consumer Communications, that it launched with Philips. The venture turned into a major money loser and was disbanded the following year, with each partner regaining contributed assets.
Pending various approvals, VTech will acquire business and R&D operations in New Jersey, manufacturing and repair sites in Mexico, and some 4,800 employees. It also gets a 10-year license to use the AT&T brand on phones and accessories sold in the United States and Canada. It will pay royalties to AT&T for use of the name.
Lucent and VTech are not strangers. From its plants in China, VTech has been supplying products to Lucent for a number of years.