U.S. managed network and IT services provider boasts 450,000 route miles of fibre worldwide

CenturyLink on Wednesday completed its US$34 billion (€31.06 billion) acquisition of Level 3, days after receiving the go-ahead from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The merger creates a managed network and IT services provider that generated pro forma revenue of $24 billion for the 12 months ended 30 June. It boasts 450,000 route miles of fibre connecting more than 100,000 buildings in 350 metropolitan areas across EMEA and the Americas.

"CenturyLink is now poised to offer an expanded, robust portfolio of communications solutions focused on our customers’ networking and IT services needs," said CenturyLink CEO Glen Post, in a statement. "Our customers, from individual consumers to global enterprises, will benefit from our expanded, innovative network solutions, our complementary managed services and our highly talented workforce."

Level 3 CEO Jeff Storey, whose future role was unclear when the deal was first announced, has since been appointed president and chief operating officer.

"Our goal is to be the world’s best networking provider and we have the ability to achieve this as one company," Storey said. "CenturyLink is focused on providing a differentiated experience for our customers, while driving profitable growth and increasing free cash flow per share. Our scale and experience will enable us to deliver on behalf of our customers, employees and our shareholders."

As previously disclosed, Level 3 finance chief Sunit Patel is now CFO of CenturyLink. Meanwhile, CenturyLink CTO Aamir Hussain has retained his current role.

CenturyLink and Level 3 had hoped to close the transaction by the end of September; however, it became clear during that month that they would miss the deadline due to outstanding regulatory approvals.

In early October, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) approved the merger, subject to the sale of Level 3 metro network assets in three states and 24 strands of dark fibre.

The deal cleared its final hurdle on Monday, when the FCC gave it the green light.

Now the transaction has closed, CenturyLink owns 51% of the combined entity, while Level 3 owns the remaining 49%.