CenturyLink Eats Expenses on Acquisitions

Buying companies isnt cheap even after a deal is finalized.

Just ask CenturyLink, Inc., the Monroe, La.-based company that has become one of the largest telecommunications providers in the United States through some huge acquisitions in recent years.

In its second-quarter earnings Wednesday, CenturyLink revealed incurring costs of $288 million related to its acquisitions of Embarq, Qwest Communications and Savvis. The company incurred pre-tax transaction, severance and integration costs of $245 million related to Qwest, $25 million pertaining to Embarq and $18 million in connection with its acquisition last month of Savvis.

CenturyLink went on a buying spree beginning in 2009 when the company previously known as CenturyTel acquired Embarq for $11.6 billion. Glen F Post, III, President and CEO of CenturyLink, said on Wednesday the company has completed the major integration activities in connection with the Embarq acquisition.

But CenturyLink still is working on integrating Qwest and Savvis.

On April 1, CenturyLink closed its acquisition of Denver-based Qwest Communications in a blockbuster deal that made CenturyLink one of the biggest telecommunications providers in the nation. CenturyLinks second-quarter operating revenues climbed year over year from $1.8 billion to $4.4 billion, thanks primarily to the Qwest acquisition.  

The company is even bigger now. Last month, CenturyLink completed its purchase of Savvis, a provider of cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprises. CenturyLink previously said the cash and stock deal was valued at $2.5 billion, or $40 per share.

Shares of CenturyLink (ticker: CTL) closed Friday at $33.72 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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