Level 3 to buy TW Telecom for $5.7B to upgrade metro coverage

Customers of both operators will benefit from the combined long-haul and metro networks, companies say

Level 3 Communication is buying TW Telecom for approximately $5.7 billion in an effort to boost its metropolitan footprint of fixed networks.

The two operators are highly complementary, according to Level 3. The combination of the two companies creates a stronger, more nimble competitor, it said Monday.

Level 3 said its customers will benefit from TW Telecom's "deep metropolitan footprint and buildings connected to the network," resulting in faster and more reliable fixed broadband connections in the U.S. Meanwhile, TW Telecom's customers will be able to take advantage of Level 3's backbone networks and data centers in more than 60 countries as well as global subsea networks, it said.

Integrating two operators with big network assets is never easy. Level 3 and TW expect to benefit from their close geographic proximity and previous integration experience. Level 3 is based in Broomfield, Colorado, and TW in Littleton, Colorado.

The two companies have entered into a definitive agreement valued at $40.86 per share of TW Telecom common stock or approximately $7.3 billion, including about $1.6 billion of net debt as of the end of March.

Shareholders will receive $10 cash and 0.7 shares of Level 3 common stock for each share of TW Telecom that is owned at closing.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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