Qwest goes public with $8bn MCI bid

Time to reconsider?

Qwest was prepared to stump up $8bn (£4.23bn) to take-over MCI, the Denver-based telecoms outfit revealed yesterday.

On Monday, US telco Verizon confirmed that its $6.7bn (£3.55bn) shares and cash offer to take-over MCI had been accepted despite reports that Qwest had bid more for MCI.

Yesterday Qwest went public stating it had offered $8bn for MCI - a bid rejected by MCI.

Some MCI shareholders have already voiced their concerns about the deal and why execs accepted a lower offer. Now that Qwest has gone public on its offer, some observers believe it could kick off a new round of bidding for MCI.

Publishing Q4 results on Tuesday, Qwest revealed that it managed to narrow losses on the back of slightly reduced revenues.

The telco made a net loss of $139m (£73.6m) in Q4 04 compared to $407m (£215m) a year earlier. Revenues for the quarter were down a smidgen from $3.49bn (£1.85bn) to $3.43bn (£1.81bn).

Part of the decline in losses is down to improved efficiencies and productivity gains, including the shedding of 5,500 (12 per cent) of its workforce in 2004, mostly in the second half of the year.

Qwest also added 81,000 DSL lines in the fourth quarter and ended the year with more than a million broadband lines.

Qwest chairman and chief exec Richard Notebaert said he was "pleased with the progress made in 2004 and we like the momentum we have entering 2005 to drive additional growth in our key lines of business". ®

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