Monday, October 31, 2005

BREAKING - Level 3 to buy WilTel (update 2)

Update 2...
Tuesday 5:45pm
KOTV reports that its sources say "in a meeting Tuesday morning, employees were told to expect a 30 to 40 percent layoff quickly."

Tuesday 3:00pm
From KTUL...
Analysts Predict Tulsa Layoffs After Sale Of WilTel
Tulsa (AP) - Analysts say the Tulsa area could be losing more jobs because of the sale of Tulsa-based WilTel Communications to Colorado-based Level Three Communications.

Washington, D-C, telecommunications industry analyst David Ahl says there could be 12-hundred WilTel employees laid off and up the 300 laid off from Level Three.

Level Three president Kevin O'Hara says, though, it's too early to say how many employees will be kept.

WilTel has about 18-hundred employees worldwide with about 12-hundred of those in Tulsa.

Level Three announced yesterday it will acquire WilTel in a stock and cash deal worth about 680 (m) million dollars. The deal is expected to close during the first three months of next year.

One of downtown's biggest employers is being purchased by Level 3 Communications.

ommunications says it'll pay $680-million for the Internet access and services company, WilTel Communications Group.

Level 3 will pay $370-million cash, and issue 115-million shares in the deal.

The Broomfield-based company operates Internet protocol-based fiber-optic networks.

WilTel is headquartered in Tulsa, and delivers voice, data, video and IP services over a next-generation fiber-optic network.

WilTel is a subsidiary of New York-based Leucadia National Corporation.

The acquisition includes all of WilTel's communications business, including a multiyear contract with SBC Communications, and WilTel's Vyvx video transmission business.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2006.

Level 3 president and Chief Operating Officer Kevin O'Hara says the combined companies will reach 50 new markets and include three-thousand new route miles, compared with Level 3's pre-acquisition facilities.


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