Qwest's abandoned LH network sale-Don't lowball me man! - Top Telecom M&As for 2009

One of the biggest hoaxes/rumors to emerge in the service provider arena last summer was that Qwest would sell off its long-haul business. With no long haul business, thoughts of the old US West serving its traditional 14-state territory started to come to mind.   

And just as the theories emerged on what a Qwest would look like without its long haul assets so did the potential bidders--none of which ever specifically confirmed they were making a deal--for the assets. 

These bidders fell into a couple of obvious categories: competitive wholesalers (Level 3), IXCs (Sprint), competitive providers (Time Warner Telecom, Cogent), new entrants (NTT Americas) and the fellow RBOCs (AT&T and Verizon). 

However, none of this happened apparently because as a Wall Street Journal article revealed, the Qwest folks felt as though the bids it received just were not satisfactory. No one apparently wanted to pay the $2 to $3 billion price tag that Qwest wanted for the assets. 

Qwest's thought process was that it could possibly use the proceeds to pay down debt. Such an idea is not completely far fetched as analysts lauded the ILEC's cost cutting efforts in Q3 09. 

Then, as fast as the rumors of a possible sale shot up like a rocket, they came down to earth. Revealing in June that while there was indeed interest to buy the LH assets, the ILEC's board decided the LH assets were too important to its shareholders and customers.  

But with a whole lot of tier 2 M&A going on, new rumors are percolating that a large tier 2 service provider (CenturyLink or Windstream) could launch a bid for Qwest. Guess we'll have to wait and see.  

Qwest's abandoned LH network sale-Don't lowball me man! - Top Telecom M&As for 2009