MONROE, La. and DENVER March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Public Utility Commission of Oregon (PUC) today issued an order approving the pending merger between CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q). This is the final approval needed to complete the merger.
The PUC conducted a substantive review of the transaction, including agreements on wholesale matters the companies reached with several competitive carriers in Oregon and other states.
When the merger is completed, the combined company will serve about 800,000 access lines in the state. As part of the approval process, the companies committed to investing a minimum of $45 million in broadband infrastructure in Oregon over five years."With the PUC's approval, CenturyLink and Qwest are another step closer to completing the merger and leveraging their combined strength to develop and deploy innovative communications services for Oregon customers," said John F. Jones, vice president of State Government Affairs at CenturyLink. "During the PUC's review of the proposed transaction, both Qwest and CenturyLink demonstrated their strong commitments to customer service, which will continue after the merger is completed and the companies combine operations in Oregon," said Judy Peppler, Qwest Oregon president. The companies expect to close the merger and combine operations on April 1, 2011. As previously announced, the combined company will use the name CenturyLink and its stock will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under CenturyLink's current symbol, CTL. Qwest shares outstanding at the end of the business day immediately prior to the close date will convert to CenturyLink shares on the close date at an exchange rate of 0.1664 share of CenturyLink for each share of Qwest. MERGER UPDATE
- The merger has been approved by the commissions in 21 states, the District of Columbia and the FCC.
- CenturyLink and Qwest have agreements with Integra Telecom, Cox Communications and other competitive local exchange carriers, and the U.S. Department of Defense in Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Washington.
- In October, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) agreed that the merger is in the public interest.
- Shareholders from both companies approved the merger in August.
- The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission cleared the transaction in July after determining there were no antitrust concerns.
- As of Dec. 31, 2010, CenturyLink served approximately 2.4 million broadband customers, 6.5 million access lines and almost 628,000 satellite video subscribers. On the same date, Qwest served 2.9 million broadband customers, 8.9 million access lines, more than 1 million video subscribers and more than 1 million wireless customers. The combination will create a robust 180,000-route-mile national fiber network, which will increase the combined company's scale and enable the delivery of a diverse mix of service and product offerings.
- Merger website: centurylinkqwestmerger.com.
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