Qwest, CenturyLink shareholders green light merger

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) took yet another step forward in adding Qwest (NYSE: Q) to its telecom empire as the shareholders of both telcos approved the merger.

Over 97 percent of CenturyLink's voting shareholders voted to approve the deal during a special meeting held in Monroe, La. and issue CenturyLink common stock to Qwest shareholders.

Similarly, 97 percent of Qwest's voting shareholders--a figure that represents about 79 percent of Qwest's outstanding shares--voted to approve the merger at a special shareholder meeting conducted at Qwest's Denver, Colo. headquarters.

Upon completion of the deal, the new CenturyLink will become a communications powerhouse, with presence in 37 states, 16.2 million access lines and about 5 million broadband customers.

"I think (the approval) shows shareholders see the value of this deal just like our board did," Qwest CEO Ed Mueller said.

Along with shareholder approval, the CenturyLink/Qwest marriage has received approvals from the U.S. Department of Justice and seven state regulatory utility commissions. Although Qwest and CenturyLink expect to wrap the deal in the first half of next year, they still need the approval from 14 other states, the District of Columbia and the FCC.

For more:
- see the release here
- Columbus Business Journal has this story

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