Qwest says it won't sell long-haul network

Qwest Communications today seemed to silence speculation about the possible sale of its long-distance network by issuing a statement confirming that it will not sell the network.

The company said the decision was the outcome of a strategic review pursued after Qwest received "unsolicited indications of interest" from potential buyers, the statement read, adding that "the company and its Board of Directors undertook a comprehensive review of this asset and its operations. Following this review, the company commenced a competitive bidding process. Although there was significant interest in this process from prospective buyers, the company and its Board of Directors have determined that the long distance network asset holds far more value to Qwest shareholders and is more strategically important to Qwest and its customers than is the alternative of pursuing a transaction."

Those comments do not directly answer wide speculation that bids for the network were far lower than anticipated, though you may be able to reach your own conclusion. Qwest also said in the statement that it has reaffirmed its 2009 outlook for adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $4.2 billion to $4.4 billion.

For more:
- Here's the Qwest press release

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Sale speculation first started more than two months ago