CenturyLink and Qwest Communications announced today a definitive agreement under which CenturyLink will acquire Qwest in a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction valued at nearly $10.5 billion. It’s the biggest telecommunications deal since Verizon Wireless acquired Little Rock-based Alltel in January 2009 for $28.1 billion.
Monroe, La.-based CenturyLink is the second largest telecom in Arkansas. Denver-based Qwest has no major business holdings in the state.
CenturyLink has been on a buying spree in the last year. It purchased the one-time landline operations of Sprint Corp., formerly known as Embarq, in July 2009.
CenturyLink says it expects to gain about $625 million in "capital synergies" from the transaction. The deal will make CenturyLink the third largest telecom in the U.S. behind AT&T and Verizon.
It’s also good news for south Arkansas and northern Louisiana. CenturyLink says it will keep its corporate headquarters in Monroe.