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Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) to Buy Motive Inc. (MOTV.OB) for $67.8M

France’s Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) says it will buy Austin, Texas automation software firm Motive Inc. for $67.8 million in a cash deal. The $2.23 per share purchase price represents a premium of about 53 percent over Motive’s (MOTV.OB) closing stock price on June 16.

Motive will be folded into a subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent. The deal is slated to close in the fourth quarter. Motive Chairman and CEO Alfred Mockett says the transaction is likely to result in more people and investment being added to Austin. Motive has about 300 employees worldwide with research and development operations in both Austin and Bangalore, India

“I just had the chance to talk to the employees and we see this as a very good day in the history of Motive,” he says. “The employees are pumped up and excited about the transaction.”

Paris-based Alcatel-Lucent, a major manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, has had a relationship with Motive over the last three years. The two companies jointly develop and sell remote management software for home networking systems to about 40 clients.

“This strategic combination is a natural evolution of our existing relationship and provides Motive the scale needed to meet the long-term needs of our customers,” Mockett says. “Alcatel-Lucent and Motive have a complementary worldwide footprint of customers and partners, and a history of working together to help ensure the success of our joint customers. With this acquisition, Motive gains access to capital, technology and people necessary to deliver on our commitments and ensure a secure future for our customers.”

Motive’s stock closed at $2.11 on Tuesday, up almost 45 percent from Monday’s close.

Motive has had a tumultuous past couple of years, starting with an inquiry into its financial reporting in 2005. After failing to make timely filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Motive was delisted from the Nasdaq stock exchange in April 2006. That same year, the company’s top management departed.

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