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Thursday, 22 March, 2001, 19:15 GMT
Lucent cuts Agere float
Agere website
Agere cuts its price range by half
Communications chip-maker Agere Systems, a unit of Lucent Technologies, has cut the price range for its upcoming flotation amid a downturn in technology stocks and waning investor interest.

The company has lowered the price range to between $6 and $7 a share - half of its revised offer of $12 to $14.

In lowering than the price per share, the lead underwriter in the deal, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, increased the number of shares to 600 million from 500 million, according to an amended filing with Securities and Exchange Commission, which monitors public stock offerings.

Additionally, in making the revision, Agere will make its debut next week instead of this week, as originally planned.

Speculation

Speculation arose on Monday that the deal could be revised downward on Wednesday. It is the third time Agere has revised the offering, through its underwriter.

At its outset, it was to be the US' second largest float since AT&T Wireless' $10.6bn deal last year.

While the revised deal was not unexpected, analysts said the declining stock market and general lack of interest in telecommunications stocks have made it difficult to drum up interest in the stock offering.

Morgan Stanley said the float price is likely to be announced on Wednesday or Thursday next week.

The firm expects to trade under the New York Stock Exchange symbol "AGR.A".

Lucent's proceeds

Lucent will receive about 60% of the proceeds of the float, while Morgan Stanley will receive a profit from the 200 million shares it holds, analysts said.

Two weeks ago, another high-profile stock-float deal was forced to lower the price of its stock amid a slumping tech-stock market.

Loudcloud, brainchild of Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, dropped its stock price to $6 a share in the hopes of raising $150m -- $50m less than it had planned.

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See also:

22 Mar 01 | Business
Global share slide gathers pace
21 Mar 01 | Business
Tech chiefs fear Europe slowdown
24 Jan 01 | Business
Lucent posts $1bn first-quarter loss
23 Feb 01 | Business
Lucent secures future
07 Mar 01 | Business
US economy: Sluggish growth
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