Qwest Issues Debt Securities, Cuts Deals and Fights For Corporate Business

Competition for business customers from AT&T and MCI have become particularly fierce.

August 13, 2004

1 Min Read
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Qwest Corporation this week concluded an offering of $575 million aggregate principal amount of debt securities as it cuts interconnection deals and reaches out to business and residential markets to turn around negative sales trends.

Officials say the company will issue a $575 million 7-year note maturing on September 1, 2011, with a coupon of 7.875 percent. The concurrent $750 million tender offer announced earlier this week, combined with debt redemption completed this year, say officials, demonstrates the company's progress in improving the company's balance sheet.

The seven-year notes were priced at $986.75 per $1,000 principal amount. The net proceeds of the offering will be used for general corporate purposes, including funding or refinancing the company's investments in telecommunication assets.

The sale of the notes is expected to close on August 19, 2004.

Qwest this week also cut a multi-year interconnection deal with Bell Canada. According to officials, international voice traffic between Canada and the U.S. represents the largest volume of international long-distance traffic in the world. Telephone traffic between the two countries is estimated to be over 12 billion minutes of use per year.These two pieces of news helped offset the company's second-quarter loss, which widened more than expected in the context of a price war to for the hearts and wallets of business customers. Losses reached $776 million (compared to $64 million in losses last year at this time, according to Bloomberg) as Qwest continues to deal with government probes and lawsuits. The company reported that sales fell 4.3 percent to $3.44 billion.

Competition for business customers from AT&T and MCI have become particularly fierce, say analysts, putting in jeopardy the Qwest's objective of increasing revenue this fiscal year by offering high-speed Internet and residential long-distance services.

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