WSJ: Long-haul bidders low-ball Qwest

While Qwest Communications has not confirmed widespread speculation that it is trying to sell its long-distance network, The Wall Street Journal reports that the company has collected bids for the network, and that they are "well below" the valuation that some industry analysts have put on the asset--between $2 billion to $3 billion.

Bidding reportedly may not be over, but the WSJ story suggests that Qwest may need to decide whether to call off the sale or accept a lower bid. Level 3 Communications has been one of the most acquisitive companies in telecom in recent years and is one of the companies still listed as a possible buyer in the WSJ report.

Qwest reportedly was going to use the proceeds from the sale to help it pay down billions of dollars in debt, so if it does decide to skip the auction block this time around, what else might it do to reduce the debt load?

For more:
- The Wall Street Journal has this story

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A possible Qwest long-haul sale was first reported two months ago
Cogent Communications alleged that Qwest was asking too high a price

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