Lumen to sell network assets serving 6M customers for $7.5B

Lumen Technologies, formerly known as CenturyLink, has found a partner to help it turn copper into cash.

The carrier has agreed to sell a large part of its US network to Apollo Global Management for $7.5 billion, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.

What's included, the report said, is "a collection of telephone and broadband infrastructure that covers 6 million residential and business customers across 20 states, mostly in the U.S. Midwest and Southeast. The deal value includes $1.4 billion of assumed debt."

Lumen is keeping the customers and pieces of its consumer broadband network that seem like a good fit for its fiber business. Everything else it had no plans to invest in is headed to the new company, as it discussed would happen just a few weeks ago.

"We are actively looking at selling non-core assets to unlock value in our business," Lumen CEO Jeff Storey said during an earnings conference call in May. "If we find transactions that are positive to shareholders, we won't hesitate to move forward."

Apollo's plans aren't laid out in detail in The WSJ's story, but the report did name several former Verizon execs who would be leading the new telecom concern absorbing Lumen's mostly copper-based customers. They include Bob Mudge, Chris Creager and Tom Maguire, a group that helped launch Verizon's Fios FTTH service.

Just last week Lumen announced it was selling its Latin American business to Stonepeak, an investment firm, for $2.7 billion. In that transaction, Lumen formed a US-based company that would be in Stonespeak's portfolio to operate and run its divested network and other assets.

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Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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