Level 3 to buy Global Crossing

In a further consolidation of the global telecoms and content delivery network markets, international provider of fibre-based communications services. Level 3 Communications, and global IP, Ethernet, data centre and video solutions provider Global Crossing have entered into a definitive agreement under which Level 3 will acquire Global Crossing in a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction, estimated at some $3 billion. The combined company will operate a global services platform anchored by fibre optic networks on three continents, connected by extensive undersea facilities.

The combined network will serve a worldwide customer set with owned network in more than 50 countries and connections to more than 70 countries. This transaction will create a company with pro forma combined 2010 revenues of $6.26 billion and pro forma combined 2010 Adjusted EBITDA of $1.27 billion before synergies and $1.57 billion after expected synergies.

Based on Level 3’s closing stock price on April 8, 2011, the transaction is valued at $23.04 per Global Crossing common or preferred share, or approximately $3.0 billion, including the assumption of approximately $1.1 billion of net debt as of Dec. 31, 2010.

The pair say the deal will create a company with a unique capability to meet local, national and global customer requirements in a wide range of markets. By combining the strengths of each company, the new entity will offer enterprise, government, wholesale, content, and web-based customers a comprehensive portfolio of end-to-end data, video and voice solutions.

“This is a transformational combination that we believe will deliver significant value to the investors, customers and employees of both Level 3 and Global Crossing,” said Jim Crowe, chief executive officer of Level 3. “The complementary fit between the two companies’ networks, service portfolios and customers is compelling. By leveraging the respective strengths and extensive reach of both companies, we are creating a highly efficient and more extensive global platform that is well-positioned to meet the local and international needs of our customers.”

“This transaction will provide Global Crossing shareholders with an attractive premium and significant participation in the upside potential of a leading communications company with industry-leading scale and capabilities. The combined service capabilities, extensive network assets and talented employees of the two companies will create a stronger global communications competitor with compelling offerings in the marketplace,” said John Legere, chief executive officer of Global Crossing.

The combined business will offer an extensive portfolio of transport, IP and data solutions, content delivery, data centre, co-location and voice services, delivered globally. Global Crossing will bring important additions to Level 3’s service portfolio, including managed services, collaboration services and inter-continental virtual private networking capability. The combined service portfolio and distribution channels will allow Level 3 to better address the needs of enterprises, content providers, carriers and governments throughout North America, Latin America and Europe.

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