Upstart telecom carrier Level 3 Communications will purchase Software Spectrum for $122 million in cash, or $37 per share, the companies announced Thursday. Level 3 will merge the software distributor with a wholly owned subsidiary. At least two-thirds of Software Spectrum shareholders must approve the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter. Software Spectrum shares were up 117.4 percent, from $19.54 to $36.19, on the news. Level 3 shares gained 34 cents, or 9.39 percent, to $3.96.
The deal will help Level 3 expand its business beyond providing wholesale communication services. The telecom industry has seen significant hardship during the past year. Established carriers such asand have faced debt problems, and upstarts such as and Williams Communications have filed for bankruptcy. Dallas-based Software Spectrum sells and manages software products from Microsoft, IBM/Lotus, Symantec, Adobe Systems and others.