Lucent has averted a potentially embarrassing delay in its merger with Alcatel by settling two shareholder lawsuits over claims the deal doesn't maximise value.

Lucent and Alcatel agreed in April to merge into a global communications vendor with $25 billion in annual revenue. Both companies plan to hold shareholder votes on Thursday to approve the deal.

However two plaintiffs wanted the vote postponed and the company was due at a hearing the day before - today - to fight the request. Both lawsuits were intended as class actions on behalf of owners of Lucent stock. Terms of the settlement will be disclosed later, Lucent said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission late last week.

The Lucent-Alcatel deal would be one of the biggest shifts yet in the consolidation of both service providers and vendors in the telecommunications industry. Both the US Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission have approved the plan, but it still faces opposition from some investment firms and needs the blessing of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US.

The merged company, to be called Alcatel Lucent, would have its headquarters in Alcatel's base of Paris.