Rumors that Nokia might buy Alcatel-Lucent first surfaced last week, and already the two companies have announced official plans to merge. The deal, which was revealed on Wednesday morning, values the French wireless firm at €15.6 billion (roughly $16.6 billion USD).
Both companies have already approved the deal, though it won’t be finalized until early 2016. Nokia’s shareholders also need to sign-off on the merger before it can proceed. Once the entire agreement goes through, the new Nokia will be an even bigger force in the wireless market thanks to Alcatel-Lucent’s current hardware business and its trove of patents.
As part of the deal, Nokia will establish a new investment fund in France, setting aside €100 millions to boost French startups with a focus on the Internet of Things and the “industrial internet.” Meanwhile, Nokia Technologies, which deals with licensing patents and developing new products, will remain separate from the rest of the company.
Nokia also took the opportunity to confirm rumors that it’s considering a sale of its HERE mapping service, though the company wouldn’t comment on claims that Uber could be a potential buyer. Earlier reports suggested the sale could help pay for a possible Alcatel-Lucent merger, though the app is only valued at around $2.1 billion.