Juniper strikes board deal with Elliott. Nokia exec downplays merger talk.

|About: Juniper Networks (JNPR)|By:, SA News Editor

Activist investor Elliott Management (6.2% stake) has reached a deal with Juniper (JNPR) under which Juniper will nominate telecom industry vet Kevin DeNuccio (now the CEO of Violin Memory) and ex-Nortel COO Gary Daichendt to its board, and won't nominate more than 7 incumbent directors at its annual meeting. (13D)

Last week, Juniper announced a slew of cash-return and cost-cutting moves that dovetailed with Elliott and fellow activist Jana Partners' wish lists.

Meanwhile, Nokia Solutions & Networks (NOK) chief Rajeev Suri is downplaying a recent report stating Nokia is considering a bid for Juniper.  "We have a partnership with Juniper and we will seek ways to expand that partnership ... That's all."

Suri also says NSN, whose parent company is set to receive a big cash infusion via the Microsoft deal, is on the lookout for smaller acquisitions. "We don’t have to do a deal for the sake of a deal ... We will look for opportunities out there."

JNPR +1.5% AH.