A recent report that it’s thinking of buying US fixed networking gear provider Juniper Networks has been flatly refuted by Nokia.
The report came from CNBC, which is so committed to the story, originally entitled ‘Nokia prepares offer to buy Juniper’ (according to the URL) that it has changed the headline to ‘Nokia denies that it’s preparing offer to buy Juniper Networks’ once Nokia denied that it’s preparing an offer to buy Juniper Networks.
“Nokia is not currently in talks with, nor is it preparing an offer for, Juniper Networks related to an acquisition of that company,” said the Nokia statement produced in response to the original story.
Stories like these often originate as a ‘trail balloon’ leaked by someone contemplating a significant corporate move, to see how the market responds to the story. Juniper Networks stock was up 5% yesterday but had lost all of that and then some in pre-market trading at time of writing. Nokia’s shares seem to have been largely indifferent.
The latter fact seems to be most significant to our hypothetical trial balloonist, and may have indicated to them that the market wasn’t very keen. Additionally, since acquisitions are typically at a 30-50% premium on the current share price a spike of just 5% for Juniper is pretty underwhelming. Then again most investors may have merely discounted the story as the thin speculation even its publisher now seems to think it is.