Every aspect of the submarine cable industry is changing at a lightning pace, so it is not surprising that changes are happening among the suppliers as well.

According to a report from French magazine Challenges, Ekinops has emerged as a leader to acquire Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) from Nokia.  Nokia acquired ASN when it bought Alcatel-Lucent in 2015, but has been looking for a buyer for the last two years, as ASN is not considered to be part of its core business. 

Ekinops is based in Lannion, France.  It makes fiber optic data transport equipment and has some experience supplying to the submarine cable industry.  Its equipment was used to upgrade Linxtelecom’s Baltic ring connecting Estonia, Finland and Sweden in 2016. 

One of Ekinops’ advantages is that it is part owned by bpifrance, France’s public investment bank.  France has named ASN as a strategic asset, or “operator of vital importance,” so bpifrance’s involvement would be a plus for the government. 

For the full Challenges article (in French), click here

The report follows news from September that TE SubCom would be acquired by Cerberus Capital Management.  And earlier this year, NSW’s parent company was acquired by Prysmian.