MONROE, La., Feb. 7 -- CenturyTel Inc. announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase metro fiber networks in 16 markets, primarily in the central US, from KMC Telecom Holdings Inc. (KMC) for $65 million cash, subject to purchase price adjustments.
CenturyTel said the transaction is expected to close in the 2005 third quarter, subject to regulatory approval, and that the transition of these markets is expected to be seamless to its existing customers.
CenturyTel will operate these networks and related assets through its LightCore subsidiary, which provides fiber optic services to national and regional communications carriers. The KMC networks being acquired include almost 1000 lit route miles of metro fiber and more than 100 points of presence (POPs), and will bring LightCore's total network to more than 9700 lit route miles of fiber and 618 total POPs.
"This acquisition advances CenturyTel's strategic goal of continuing to grow and diversify our revenue streams by becoming a dominant fiber transport provider to smaller cities and rural areas in and near our local exchange and LightCore markets," said Glen F. Post III, CenturyTel chairman and CEO. "It also positions LightCore to grow the enterprise and government segments of its customer base."
With this purchase, CenturyTel will add key markets to its LightCore footprint across Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
CenturyTel also announced that its board of directors authorized it to repurchase up to an aggregate of $200 million of either its common stock or convertible equity units. The program will expire in December 2005, unless extended by CenturyTel's board of directors. The new program follows CenturyTel's $400 million repurchase program, which was completed during 2004.
For more information, visit: www.centurytel.com