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Nokia says not preparing offer for Juniper Networks

(Reuters) - Finnish network equipment maker Nokia (NOKIA.HE) said on Wednesday that it was not in talks to buy U.S. network gear maker Juniper Networks Inc (JNPR.N) despite earlier reports to the contrary.

"Nokia is not currently in talks with, nor is it preparing an offer for, Juniper Networks related to an acquisition of that company," the company said in a statement.

CNBC had earlier reported, citing sources, that Nokia was in talks to buy Juniper at an offer that would value the company at around $16 billion (£11.93 billion).

Juniper had a market capitalisation of around $11.26 billion as of Wednesday's close, according to CNBC.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company's shares had soared 18 percent to $35 in extended trading after the CNBC report.

Nokia has been building its telecom equipment business since selling its mobile phone unit to Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O).

It bought Alcatel-Lucent for about $17 billion last year to gave it a larger fixed-line network business and make it less dependent on mobile broadband.

Juniper was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; editing by Anil D'Silva and G Crosse)