Internet service company CenturyLink to acquire Level 3 Communications

Telecommunications service provider CenturyLink Inc. announced it will buy Level 3 Communications inc. for $34 billion. Photo courtesy of CenturyLink Inc.

MONROE, La., Nov. 1 (UPI) — CenturyLink Inc. announced its purchase of Level 3 Communications Inc. Monday, a $34 billion cash-and-stock deal creating a more prominent business telecommunications service company.

Level 3 stockholders will be offered $66.50 per share, a 42 percent increase over the company’s value in trading last week.

Level 3 routes Internet traffic across the World Wide Web for Netflix and Google, among other companies, operations that could improve CenturyLink’s core offerings to businesses. CenturyLink, a major phone company, formed after CenturyTel bought Embarq Corp. in 2009 and Qwest Communications International in 2011. Both companies are dealing with growing competition from cable providers and other smaller rivals offering business Internet and phone connections for businesses. A union of the two companies would create a larger competitor in a crowded field.

Level 3 had a market value of $19.4 billion at Friday’s close and has about $11 billion in debt. CenturyLink was valued at about $16.6 billion and has about $19 billion in debt, Bloomberg News reported Monday. The firm will be based in Monroe, La., CenturyLink’s current headquarters. Level 3 is based in Broomfield, Colo., and the combined company expects to maintain its substantial presence in Colorado.

Glen Post, the CEO of CenturyLink, will lead the combined company, while Level 3’s chief financial officer, Sunit Patel, will serve as top financial officer.


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