TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ A deal for struggling Lucent Technologies Inc. to sell two Midwest manufacturing plants for sorely needed cash reportedly has collapsed.
The telecommunications equipment maker refused Thursday to confirm a report in The Wall Street Journal that plans to sell plants in Oklahoma City and Columbus, Ohio, to an Asian contract manufacturer had fallen through.
``We're not commenting on speculation,'' said Bill Price, a spokesman for Murray Hill-based Lucent.
Lucent, once a high-flying technology giant and Wall Street favorite, disclosed plans to sell the two facilities when it announced a sweeping cost-cutting and restructuring program back in January.
On Thursday, Price said Lucent is negotiating with multiple bidders interested in the plants.
``We expect to make our selections early this summer and have the transitions completed by the end of the fiscal year,'' which is Sept. 30, he said.
The Journal reported that sources familiar with the deal said Lucent expected to raise $600 million to $900 million by selling the two plants to Flextronics International Ltd., which is registered in Singapore but has corporate offices in Hong Kong. Flextronics officials could not be reached Thursday for comment and earlier declined to comment to the Journal.
Price would not confirm a collapse of the Flextronics deal, or even that the company was one of the bidders.
Shares of Lucent were down 64 cents to $6.60 in late morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.