CNBC earlier reported that Finnish kit maker was preparing $16 billion move for Cisco rival

Nokia late on Wednesday swiftly dismissed a report that claimed it was mulling a takeover bid for 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 Nokia, in a brief statement.

The denial was issued after CNBC earlier reported that the Finnish kit maker was in talks with Juniper about an offer valuing it at around $16 billion, more than its current market capitalisation of just over $11 billion.

Juniper has frequently been mentioned as a takeover target in recent years, as fierce competition in the vendor market, and the convergence between telco and IT networking, has led to consolidation and strategic partnerships.

Some industry observers posited that Ericsson might make a move for Juniper in 2015, following Nokia’s multi-billion-euro acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. Instead though, Ericsson pursued a far-reaching and now-troubled partnership with Juniper’s bigger rival, Cisco.

Buying Juniper Networks would strengthen Nokia’s IT networking portfolio, helping it to compete more aggressively with Ericsson and Cisco.

Meanwhile, Juniper is struggling to grow its cloud business, warning that its travails in this area would result in it missing its third quarter revenue and earnings targets.