Denver, February 8, 1999 -- Qwest Communications International Inc. today announced it has completed the acquisition of Xlink Internet Service GmbH, a leading Internet service provider headquartered in Karlsruhe, Germany, for about $12.7 million in cash. Qwest purchased the other 50 percent of Xlink in March, 1998, for $13.3 million when it acquired Eurt International Ltd.
A recent study of the German Internet market ranked Xlink as the country?s second-largest provider of services to business and institutional customers. The agreement further expands the company?s presence in Western Europe and coupled with its other Internet interests, Qwest has access to more than 80 percent of the world?s Internet users.
?With European Internet usage expected to grow more than 70 percent by the year 2000, a tremendous opportunity exists for Qwest to strengthen its position as a global provider of IP-based and multimedia communications services,? said Joseph P. Nacchio, Qwest president and CEO.
Qwest plans to fold the remaining half of the Xlink business into its EUnet organization, which will be a core part of a joint venture being formed with KPN, the Dutch telecommunications company. The venture, expected to be launched by the end of March, will build and operate a high-capacity European fiber optic, Internet Protocol-based network spanning 9,100 miles.
The Qwest Macro Capacity Fiber Network has the first OC-48 Internet Protocol-based network with tremendous bandwidth that enables the convergence of voice, data and video communications.
In recent months, Qwest has made other acquisitions and formed alliances to aggressively expand its Internet-centered initiatives. These activities include the acquisition of ICON CMT at the end of last year to leverage Qwest bandwidth while providing end-to-end, high-value enterprise solutions for large customers; an alliance with Microsoft to create advanced business applications for the NT operating system; and an alliance with Netscape to provide advanced communications services to the Netscape Netcenter portal to the Internet.
About QwestQwest Communications International Inc. (Nasdaq: QWST) is a leader in reliable and secure broadband Internet-based data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. Headquartered in Denver, Qwest has more than 8,000 employees and 80 sales offices in North America, Europe and Mexico. The Qwest Macro Capacity (SM) Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking, will span more than 18,500 route miles in the United States when it is completed in mid-1999. In addition, Qwest and KPN, the Dutch telecommunications company, are forming a venture to build and operate a high-capacity European fiber optic, Internet Protocol-based network that has 2,100 miles and will span 9,100 miles when it is completed in 2001. Qwest also has nearly completed a 1,400-mile network in Mexico. For more information, please visit the Qwest web site at www.qwest.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents filed by Qwest with the SEC, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including potential fluctuations in quarterly results, dependence on new product development, rapid technological and market change, failure to complete the network on schedule and on budget, financial risk management and future growth subject to risks, Qwest?s ability to achieve Year 2000 compliance, adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment, and satisfactory negotiation and execution of definitive documentation. Qwest undertakes no obligation to review or confirm analysts? expectations or estimates or to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
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