What are the details of the Lumen/Apollo transaction?
Lumen will sell the part of its incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) business (currently operating under the CenturyLink brand) that serves consumers, small businesses, wholesale, local enterprises and government entities in 20 Midwest and Southeast states including:
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Lumen will retain its local incumbent network and assets in 16 states including:
Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Lumen will also retain its national fiber routes and competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) networks in all 36 states.
The transaction will provide Apollo with a robust, scaled local network, along with the operations and back-office support to meet the accelerating demand for high-bandwidth connectivity and fiber technology.
This transaction is valued at approximately $7.5 billion, representing a multiple of ~5.5x 2020 estimated EBITDA.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions including required regulatory approvals in the U.S.
Who is Apollo?
Apollo is a high-growth, global alternative asset manager with a more than three-decade track record of investing in and working with leading management teams to build and transform great businesses. The firm has extensive experience building new companies via corporate carve-outs like this and investing in growth and transformation of telecommunications and infrastructure assets.
Why is Lumen selling these assets in 20 states? How does it benefit customers?
Lumen will continue to make strategic network investments that strengthen the platform and our ability to meet the needs of both enterprise and mass markets customers in growth markets globally. We are retaining the national routes and CLEC networks that help us deliver on our value proposition of providing the fastest, most-secure platform for next-gen business applications and data.
Selling these assets to Apollo at such an attractive valuation allows us to focus on driving growth in our core enterprise business, strengthen our national fiber network and accelerate investments in our retained Quantum Fiber markets with more fiber to the home. In addition, customers within the acquired markets will benefit as Apollo can pursue its own fiber deployment plans.
This deal allows us to focus on investments in Lumen’s most attractive markets where we see an opportunity to drive growth. By streamlining our asset portfolio, we will be positioned to execute on our plans to provide attractive returns for our stakeholders.
The Lumen platform enables enterprise customers to use Lumen’s data, cloud edge, security, and voice and collaboration capabilities. As we drive platform investments for greater growth, the Apollo transaction will help accelerate Lumen’s go-to-market strategies for digital products and services and enable us to provide an industry-leading customer experience.
In what states will you continue to offer internet services to consumers?
We will continue to offer broadband services in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Will customers in the 20 impacted states now be served by Apollo?
Customers served by the Lumen ILEC network will transition to Apollo when the transaction closes. However, today we’re business as usual, and you will receive information when we have news to share. We will still have competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) customers in these 20 states.
What happens to Quantum Fiber?
The sale allows us to increase our level of current fiber investments and expand the Quantum Fiber footprint where we see positive momentum around growing our customer base and providing a differentiated customer experience. We will offer Quantum Fiber internet services in the 16 states we continue to serve. Our current Quantum Fiber customers in Springfield, Mo., or any other ILEC market in Missouri, will be served by Apollo after the transaction closes.
Do customers need to do anything to ensure their service is maintained during the transition period?
No. Our business will operate as usual until the transaction is complete, which we expect to happen in the second half of 2022 after securing all regulatory approvals. Apollo will be communicating with customers to keep them informed of any future changes.
What are the high-level benefits of this transaction for consumers in the impacted states?
We believe this transaction will be positive for consumers in the impacted states as Apollo pursues its own fiber deployment plans and invests in bringing faster and more reliable internet service to many rural markets.