CenturyLink to buy Level 3 for about $24 billion

NEW YORK, N.Y. – CenturyLink said Monday that it will pay about $24 billion to buy telecommunications company Level 3, in an effort to expand its services for businesses.

CenturyLink provides internet, TV and phone services to consumers, as well as data and IT services for businesses. Level 3, based in Broomfield, Colorado, provides data, video and other communication services to businesses and government agencies.

Level 3 shareholders will receive about $66.50 in cash and a portion of CenturyLink stock for each share of Level 3 they own. The companies valued the deal at $34 billion, when debt is included.

After the deal closes, which is expected to happen in the third quarter of 2017, CenturyLink shareholders will own about 51 per cent of the combined company and Level 3 shareholders will own about 49 per cent.

The combined company will be based at CenturyLink’s headquarters in Monroe, Louisiana, and will keep a “significant presence” in the Denver area where Level 3 is currently based.

Shares of CenturyLink Inc. fell $3.70, or 12.2 per cent, to $26.67 in midday trading Monday, while Level 3 Communications Inc. shares rose $2.63, or 4.9 per cent, to $56.66.