Wall Street: MCI's Choice Of Verizon Over Qwest A No-Brainer - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News
News
2/14/2005
11:44 AM
50%
50%

Wall Street: MCI's Choice Of Verizon Over Qwest A No-Brainer

MCI sold itself to the stronger of two suitors, some Wall Street investment analysts said Monday.

MCI sold itself to the stronger of two suitors, some Wall Street investment analysts said Monday.

Acquisition bids for MCI from both Verizon Communications and Qwest Communications were reportedly in motion last week. Monday morning, Verizon said it will acquire MCI, Ashburn, Va., for about $6.7 billion in equity and cash, according to New York-based Verizon.

The deal to buy MCI at what amounts to $20.75 a share is a bargain for Verizon, but MCI accepted the terms because it sees Verizon as a stronger company than Qwest, said Jay Arnold, portfolio manager at Abacus Asset Management.

"I think [Verizon] stole the company," said Arnold of the MCI purchase. "It's a great deal for Verizon. The shareholders of MCI didn't get a great deal, but maybe the combined companies will be more powerful and the returns will offset that."

Arnold said that even though Qwest outbid Verizon by about a billion dollars, MCI made the right move. The reasoning behind MCI's decision is that Qwest carries considerable debt and is somewhat of "a junk-rated Baby Bell," said Arnold.

"MCI felt a Qwest deal would be largely a stock deal and if Qwest shareholders didn't like the deal, they would sell shares, weakening the overall value," he said.

Allan Tumolillo, COO of Probe Financial Associates, said a decision to sell to Qwest would have been a mistake.

"MCI merging with Qwest would have been the end of the whole thing," said Tumolillo. "[MCI President and CEO Michael] Capellas is a smart guy. He may not know telecom all that well, but you look at Qwest and its $17 billion in debt, and you see they are struggling. MCI doesn't need to go into a mess like that. The only purpose for MCI to talk to Qwest was to provoke Verizon and Bell South to take a look at them more seriously."

Without MCI, the future of Qwest is a major question mark, said Tumolillo. "I think Qwest is headed into oblivion," he said.

The Verizon/MCI deal comes on the heels of SBC Communications buying AT&T in a deal announced Jan. 31.

"We view the [MCI] transaction to be marginally positive for the telecom industry in general," said Buckingham Research Group analysts Qaisar Hasan and May Tang in a report. "Alongside the SBC-AT&T transaction, Verizon's acquisition of MCI could bring much-needed pricing stability into the long-distance market, helping all participants in the space."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
News
The State of Chatbots: Pandemic Edition
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  9/10/2020
Commentary
Deloitte on Cloud, the Edge, and Enterprise Expectations
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/14/2020
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll