CenturyLink to Buy Level 3
- Enterprise Value $34.7 billion
- EV/LTM Revenue 4.2x
- EV/LTM EBITDA 13.1x
- Concluding a process first reported on Thursday, CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) announced today that it agreed to buy Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT).
- The equity value of the deal, to be paid in cash and stock, values Level 3 at approximately $25 billion, or $69.92 per share. The transaction value also includes approximately $10 billion in long-term debt, adding to CenturyLink's current $18 billion.
- The share price is approximately 50 percent over Level 3's closing price from Wednesday, before a potential deal was initially reported in the press. CenturyLink closed today down 12.5 percent, while Level 3 closed up 3.9 percent.
- The transaction is expected to close by the third quarter of 2017.
Competition, Regulations Drive Consolidation
- Snowball Effect: This transaction creates the second-largest business-focused communications provider after AT&T, bringing CenturyLink 200,000 additional route-miles of fiber and access to new customers.
- Products of their Environments: As competitive pressure has increased, CenturyLink and Level 3 have both made multibillion dollar transformative acquisitions, but even so the two continue to face a tight regulatory environment. New "business data services" rules proposed by the FCC in May have the potential to further reduce certain fees as much as 19 percent.
- Meeting Tax Incentives: The acquisition of Level 3 will bring with it almost $10 billion in accumulated net operating losses, the product of a history of high infrastructure costs and low service revenues. This has been key to Level 3 reducing its own effective tax rate - a strategy that is expected to similarly benefit CenturyLink.
- Without Merger, Falling Prospects: The two companies today also announced third-quarter earnings. CenturyLink revenue was down 3.8 percent to $4.38 billion, while Level 3's revenue was flat at $2.03 billion.
For more information about this transaction,
click here to read the press release.
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