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CenturyTel said Thursday it will buy Qwest Communications for $10.6 billion in stock and assume $11.8 billion in Qwest debt.
CenturyTel completed its purchase of Ameritech's telephone operations and directory publishing business, covering 21 communities in northern and central Wisconsin. The company said property and equipment acquired serves 69,000 customers, or some 89,000 telephone lines. CenturyTel's existing operations in Wisconsin are adjacent to the properties acquired from Ameritech. The transaction originally was announced last March.
Telecommunications carrier Alltel announced Wednesday that it will purchase 596,000 phone lines in Kentucky from Verizon for $1.91 billion in cash. Little Rock, Ark.-based Alltel expects the transaction to close in the second half of 2002 once it gains federal and state regulatory approval. Alltel will gain 950 Verizon employees and expects that the deal will add to the company's earnings during the first full year of operation. The company currently serves about 40,000 customers in the Kentucky area and says the Verizon deal will increase the number of local lines by 25 percent to more than 3 million. But Alltel is not the only rural telecommunications carrier with expansion plans. CenturyTel bought 675,000 phone lines in Alabama and Missouri last week from Verizon for $2.16 billion, a deal that is scheduled to close in the second half of 2002.