CenturyLink will look at M&A deals that could bolster its business portfolio, says Ewing

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) has been a bit quiet on the acquisition front lately at a time when the wireline industry is going through another key round of consolidation led by Frontier Communications and Level 3 Communications, but it will consider a deal if it makes sense.

Stewart Ewing CenturyLink EVP


Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, Stewart Ewing, EVP and CFO of CenturyLink, said that the company will continue to examine potential deals.

"We're comfortable with the asset base we have to turn the top line around and turn EBITDA around," Ewing said. "We'll continue to look at opportunities as we have in the past. We obviously get an opportunity to look at things quite a bit each year, but have not pulled the trigger yet."

Ewing added that if it does make a deal, it will be focused on bolstering its business services portfolio.

"We're trying to build out the portfolio for the cloud platform and for the IT services platform that we hope to grow so I think you'll see us look at opportunities there to add resources or products that are make or buy type of decisions," Ewing said. "We'll also look at larger transactions, but we are somewhat more focused today on business than consumer and do believe that's the way we'll successfully grow out of the revenue decline we have seen."

One possible acquisition target could be some of AT&T's (NYSE: T) data centers. According to earlier reports, AT&T is continuing its wireline asset sale roll with plans to sell some of its data centers in a deal that could fetch $2 billion.

Such a deal could make sense for CenturyLink.

The service provider has been aggressively expanding its domestic and international data center footprint. During 2014, the service provider completed the build of data centers in four markets, including Minneapolis, Toronto, Phoenix and Hong Kong. It also completed expansions of existing facilities in Chicago and Irvine, Calif.

However, neither AT&T nor CenturyLink have confirmed any deal about the data center business.

At the same time, newly appointed CTO Aamir Hussain has begun to make his mark on CenturyLink with plans to revamp the company's cloud strategy.

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