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CenturyLink set to merge with tier-one provider Level 3 for $34bn

CEOs can hardly contain their delight

American telco firm CenturyLink has announced a merger with tier-one networking business Level 3.

The deal is worth $34bn, including debt, and will see cash and stocks traded as CenturyLink acquires Level 3's fibre-optic capabilities in a deal intended to close by Q3 2017.

Unanimous approval from both companies' boards of directors will see Level 3 shareholders receive $26.50 per share in the deal, and also receive 1.4286 shares of CenturyLink stock for each Level 3 share they own.

When the deal closes, CenturyLink shareholders will own approximately 51 per cent of the combined company, while Level 3's shareholders will own 49 per cent. This business will offer CenturyLink's larger enterprise customer base the benefits of Level 3's presence in more than 60 countries.

"The digital economy relies on broadband connectivity, and together with Level 3 we will have one of the most robust fibre network and high-speed data services companies in the world," said Glen Post, CenturyLink's CEO and president.

"This is a compelling transaction for our customers, shareholders and employees," added Jeff Storey, president and CEO of Level 3. "In addition to the substantial value delivered to shareholders, the combined company will be uniquely positioned to meet the evolving and global needs of enterprise customers." ®

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