DENVER, September 9, 2003 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) today announced it has completed the sale of the final phase of its directory services, known as QwestDex, to Dex Media Inc., an entity owned by the private equity firms of The Carlyle Group and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. At the closing, Qwest received the remaining payment of approximately $4.3 billion in cash in exchange for the publishing operations supporting the states of Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
Now, the entire QwestDex operations are owned and operated by Dex Media which will continue to use the Dex brand and provide local and national advertisers with industry-leading directory, Internet and direct marketing. With the close of this sale, Dex Media is the largest privately owned incumbent directory company in the world.
Qwest announced its intention to sell its directory publishing business in early 2002. In August of last year the company announced that it would sell for $7.05 billion its QwestDex publishing business to a new entity formed by the private equity firms of The Carlyle Group and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. In November, 2002, Qwest closed the first phase of its QwestDex sale to Dex Media for $2.75 billion. The first phase included the directories and their related operations in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
?A little more than 12 months ago we outlined a series of initiatives to strengthen our balance sheet and reduce debt. Our focused and disciplined approach has generated more than $9 billion in cash liquidity and debt reduction since then,? said Oren G. Shaffer, Qwest vice chairman and CFO. ?With the final phase of the QwestDex sale complete, we now have approximately $6 billion in cash after making all currently required debt repayments with the proceeds. This transaction, combined with our demonstrated ability to access the capital markets at favorable terms and generate operating cash flow, gives us a fully funded business plan going forward.?
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services to more than 25 million customers. The company?s 49,000 employees are committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. For more information, please visit the Qwest Web site at www.qwest.com.
Forward Looking Statement Note
This release may contain projections and other 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 us with the Securities and Exchange Commission, 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 but not limited to: unanticipated delays in completing the process of our restatement of historical financial statements and related audits; the duration and extent of the current economic downturn in our 14-state local service area, including its effect on our customers and suppliers; access line losses due to increased competition, including from technology substitution of our access lines with wireless and cable alternatives; the effects of our anticipated restatement of historical financial statements including delays in or restrictions on our ability to access the capital markets or other adverse effects to our business and financial position; our substantial indebtedness, and our inability to complete any efforts to de-lever our balance sheet through asset sales or other transactions; any adverse outcome of the SEC's current investigation into our accounting policies, practices and procedures and certain transactions; any adverse outcome of the current investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver into certain matters relating to us; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by Congress, regulatory authorities, media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; the failure of our chief executive and chief financial officers to provide certain certifications relating to certain public filings; further delays in making required public filings with the SEC; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; any adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings, including any adverse outcome of current or future legal proceedings related to matters that are the subject of governmental investigations, and, to the extent not covered by insurance, if any, our inability to satisfy any resulting obligations from funds available to us, if any; our future ability to provide interLATA services within our 14-state local service area using our proprietary telecom network assets (as opposed to on a switched access basis); potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of our stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete including the likelihood of certain of our competitors emerging from bankruptcy court protection or otherwise reorganizing their capital structure and competing effectively against us; changes in demand for our products and services; acceleration of the deployment of advanced new services, such as broadband data, wireless and video services, which could require substantial expenditure of financial and other resources in excess of contemplated levels; higher than anticipated employee levels, capital expenditures and operating expenses; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business; and changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included in our significant accounting policies.
The information contained in this release is a statement of Qwest's present intention, belief or expectation and is based upon, among other things, the existing regulatory environment, industry conditions, market conditions and prices, the economy in general and Qwest's assumptions. Qwest may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in Qwest's assumptions or otherwise. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this release should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that Qwest or persons acting on its behalf may issue. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties for which Qwest assumes no responsibility.
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.
By including any information in this release, Qwest does not necessarily acknowledge that disclosure of such information is required by applicable law or that the information is material.
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