Qwest's acquirer plans to keep decisions local
By Andy Vuong
April 27, 2010
CenturyTel, which is acquiring Qwest, plans to inject the company with a locally focused business model, where key service and pricing decisions are made market by market.
The Monroe, La.-based rural phone operator will likely roll out its own television service in some of Qwest's territory, a strategy Qwest chief executive Ed Mueller killed in late 2007.
And even though the company will be based in
An avid duck hunter and not a skier, Post rarely visits
CenturyTel, which operates as CenturyLink, announced plans Thursday to buy Qwest for about $10 billion in stock and $11.8 billion in assumed debt. The deal, expected to close in 12 months, requires approval from shareholders and regulators. Post said the companies had been discussing a potential merger since the fall.
Qwest employs 7,900 in
Combined, the companies employ roughly 50,000, but layoffs
are expected if the deal is approved, particularly in
"We're more interested in having people in the markets we serve," Post said.
The combined company will serve 17 million land lines in 37 states.
A decision hasn't been made on whether to occupy Qwest's
52-story headquarters building at
Post said CenturyTel brings to Qwest a successful "local-market operating model."
"We are very focused on moving decision-making and
accountability as close to the customers as we can," Post said.
"What may work in
Post is a fan of IPTV — a form of Internet television that requires the expensive build-out of fiber-optic cables to neighborhoods. The company is testing the service in three markets and plans to add five more by mid-2011. Post said he's confident the company will offer IPTV in some Qwest markets.
CenturyTel stock fell 37 cents to $33.96 Monday. It has dropped $2.24, or 6 percent, since the deal was announced. Qwest stock rose 3 cents to close at $5.31 Monday.