MONROE, La., Oct. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The U.S. Department of Justice has agreed to clear CenturyLink, Inc.‘s (NYSE: CTL) pending acquisition of Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) subject to conditions outlined in a consent decree, including court approval of certain provisions. The acquisition remains subject to regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission, along with other customary closing conditions.
The consent decree requires the combined company to divest certain Level 3 metro network assets and certain dark fiber assets. These divestitures are not expected to have a material impact on the pro-forma operating revenue and operating cash flows of the combined company.
Metro Network Asset Divestiture
Under the consent decree, the combined company is required to divest Level 3 metro network assets in three metro areas: Albuquerque, N.M.; Boise, Idaho; and Tucson, Ariz. The combined company will continue to serve all current Level 3 customers unless they choose to be served by the buyer of divested assets in each metro area. Where needed to provide uninterrupted service to customers, CenturyLink may purchase some network services from the buyer of divested assets in each metro area. CenturyLink retains all of its existing networks and business operations in these three metro areas and will continue to provide a full suite of telecommunications and data services to residential and business customers.
Dark Fiber Asset Divestiture
The consent decree also provides that the combined company will divest 24 strands of dark fiber connecting 30 specified city-pairs across the country in the form of an Indefeasible Right of Use, a customary structure for such transactions. Because the fibers are not currently in commercial use, this divestiture will not affect any current customers or services.
“We are pleased that the Department of Justice has conditionally cleared CenturyLink’s acquisition of Level 3. It is an important milestone in our overall approval process,” said CenturyLink Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations John F. Jones. “We anticipate court approval of our agreed resolution with the Department of Justice as early as this week. We are focused on meeting our targeted transaction closing timeframe of mid-to-late October.”
The states of Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and the District of Columbiahave already approved the acquisition. The transaction has also received regulatory clearance from Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, Texas and Puerto Rico.
The combined company will offer customers a broader and more complementary range of services and solutions, and enable the advanced technology and growing bandwidth needs of its business, government and consumer customers.
Persons interested in acquiring the assets to be divested can direct expressions of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org or 318-582-3088.
CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is a global communications and IT services company focused on connecting its customers to the power of the digital world. CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, big data analytics, managed security services, hosting, cloud, and IT consulting services. The company provides broadband, voice, video, advanced data and managed network services over a robust 265,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 360,000-route-mile international transport network. Visit CenturyLink for more information.