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Lucent to Buy Excel Switching for $1.7 Billion

Times Wire Services

In its third acquisition in a week, No. 1 telephone equipment maker Lucent Technologies Inc. said it has agreed to buy Excel Switching Corp., a maker of programmable switches, for $1.7 billion in stock. Lucent said it will pay 0.5580 share of its stock for each share of Excel, valuing the Hyannis, Mass.-based company at $37 per share--a 34% premium to its closing stock price Tuesday. On Wednesday, Lucent fell $2.31 to close at $64.19 on the New York Stock Exchange. Excel soared $7.06 to $34.63 on Nasdaq. Excel, which had sales of $123.3 million in 1998, makes programmable switches that help direct traffic on telecommunications networks. Lucent wants Excel’s switches because they can be programmed quickly to provide services such as voicemail, letting new companies avoid the expense of larger systems. Lucent has made 29 purchases for more than $32 billion since it split from AT&T; Corp. three years ago.


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