We announced on October 31 that CenturyLink will acquire Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LVLT). The deal, which is expected to close by the end of third quarter 2017, creates what promises to be the second largest domestic communications provider serving global enterprise customers. At the same time, the announcement brought about some questions from our channel alliance partners and customers. In response, I wanted to take a moment to address some of the questions brought to my attention.
As most of you already know, I have worked in the channel my entire career, owning businesses, acquiring, merging and being acquired by businesses. Like many of you, I understand the feeling of uncertainty that can surface when large organizations make big announcements. Change is a constant in our industry. Everyone wonders, “How will this affect my business?” It’s a natural question, a good question to ask. It is one that will be answered in the days and months to follow as we sort out the new organization. As the information flows, I will share it with you. As of today, CenturyLink and Level 3 are poised to operate separately until the closing of the transaction, so there will be little or no channel impact for roughly 10-12 months. As details of the acquisition are ironed out, and operations merge in the future, there will be more to talk about at that time. This is the best information I can provide right now. Anyone who purports to know something about what is coming is, at best, uninformed. It’s wise not to pay too much credence to rumors or speculation as most of the time they just aren’t true.
Not having all of the details as of yet is not the same as not knowing anything. Let me tell you what I know: We’ve built our business by helping our channel partners prosper. The better you do, the better we do. We pioneered many of the channel business structures that are now commonplace in the industry. So, whatever we do in the post-acquisition process, our actions will be governed by this ethos. We are committed to thinking through, and then executing, the channel alliance program of the post-acquisition company with the same attention to detail and care that we have demonstrated in the past, including what I have shared with you over the last 4 months. Whatever we do, it will be fair. There may be changes, but I believe they will be good for your business, as well as ours.
Personally, I’m very excited about the acquisition of Level 3. Upon its closing, we bring together two highly customer and channel-focused organizations. We anticipate that we will have more capacity, more capabilities and more deal making strength than ever before. For channel partners, this is all good. We’ve done this before, more than once. Both CenturyLink and Level 3 have strong track records of successfully integrating companies. We will leverage this experience in transitioning to a combined company once the transaction closes. Will there be bumps along the way? There could be. As we go through the integration process, however, know that we will be diligent in making any decisions that might affect your livelihood. After all, it’s our livelihood, too.
The acquisition will provide an awesome opportunity for all of us in this ever-changing industry. Our combined company will provide more opportunities to strengthen our relationships with industry-leading technology providers as the second largest domestic communications provider serving global enterprise customers. I’m looking forward to this journey with you.
Thanks for all you do. We appreciate your partnership!
* Please refer to the Forward Looking Statements, Additional Information, and Participants in the Solicitation sections of our Oct. 31, 2016 press release.