PARIS, June 29 -- Alcatel plans to sell most of its manufacturing plants worldwide by the end of 2002. Chairman Serge Tchuruk said the company planned to hold on to roughly a dozen of its factories. "We will retain the manufacturing activities which are very specific to Alcatel, either because they are complex or because they don't exist elsewhere in the market," Tchuruk told a news conference. Tchuruk declined to specify the number of factories that would be affected, saying only that the company had some 120 plants in 1996. Alcatel plans to keep its space, submarine optical components and optical networks plants but is planning to unload basic manufacturing operations, Tchuruk said. Plants specializing in the launch of new products will also be spared.