Qwest Communications International said late Thursday that it will buy 14 million shares at $4.58 a share of KPNQwest from Dutch-based telecommunications carrier KPN. KPNQwest is a joint-venture company that offers data and Internet services in Europe. The companies each owned 44 percent of the venture, but after the transaction, which is expected to close by the end of the year, Qwest will own 47.5 percent compared with KPN's stake of 40 percent. The deal also grants Denver-based Qwest the option to buy in March 2002 some or all of KPN's shares in KPNQwest.
Qwest receives the right to nominate three directors to KPNQwest's six-member board vs. KPN's right to put up one candidate, and the deal releases Qwest from restrictions on the sale of the KPNQwest shares it owns. Separately, KPNQwest announced plans to acquire two business from European carrier Global TeleSystems for around $580 million, including the assumption of debt.