CenturyLink and Qwest to merge

CenturyLink and Qwest Communications executives have approved a definitive agreement under which CenturyLink will acquire Qwest in a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction.

Apr 23rd, 2010

APRIL 22, 2010 -- CenturyLink and Qwest Communications executives have approved a definitive agreement under which CenturyLink will acquire Qwest in a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction.

The parties expect the transaction to be accretive to CenturyLink's free cash flow per share, excluding integration costs, immediately following the close of the transaction.

Leveraging CenturyLink's integration experience, the transaction is expected to generate annual operating and capital synergies of approximately $625 million when fully recognized over a three- to five-year period following the close of the transaction.
This combination will result in a company whose enterprise business will be a significant contributor to its growth which, along with the consumer business, will allow it to offer innovative broadband products and services over its advanced networks, according to a representative.

As of December 31, 2009, CenturyLink and Qwest served local markets in 37 states with approximately 5 million broadband customers, 17 million access lines, 1,415,000 video subscribers, and 850,000 wireless consumers.

Glen F. Post III, CenturyLink's chief executive officer and president, says: "This combination will enhance our ability to deploy innovative IP products and high-bandwidth services to business customers, expand broadband availability and speed to consumers, and offer superior, differentiated video products. The combined company's highly recognized national network will significantly expand our ability to deliver strategic and customized product and service solutions to our business, wholesale, and government customers throughout the country."

The combination creates a robust, national 173,000-mile fiber network. With a more diverse mix of offerings, increased scale, and stronger product portfolio, the company will be able to reach more customers with a broad range of solutions.

The corporate headquarters of the company will remain in Monroe, La. The company also will maintain a key operational presence in Denver, including a regional headquarters, the Qwest Business Markets Group, as well as other functions to be determined.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, including expiration or termination of the applicable waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act as well as approvals from the Federal Communications Commission and certain state public service commissions, along with other customary closing conditions. The companies anticipate closing this transaction in the first half of 2011.

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