Currently operating in 38 countries, the move will allow Colt to expand its operations in the EMEA region 

Digital infrastructure company Colt Technology services (Colt) has announced that is has completed the acquisition of Lumen Technologies’ Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business for $1.8 billion.  

The deal encompasses Lumen’s terrestrial and subsea networks, data centres and other network equipment in the EMEA region. 

News of the sale was first annouced back in November last year, as Lumen sought to improve its balance sheet. 

The acquisition will equip Colt with an additional 1,300 employees across 16 countries, over 1.6 million km of fibre connecting 125 European cities in 34 EMEA countries, 11,000 km of metropolitan network in 23 countries and the UAE, 12 cable landing stations in six countries and 10 subsea cable systems. 

“Closing this acquisition brings us to a momentous point in our growth journey and marks our deep commitment to our customers, helping them scale and grow. It brings us amazing new talent; extends our technology portfolio and our partner ecosystem; and significantly expands our digital infrastructure as we enter new markets across Eastern Europe, the UAE and parts of Africa,” said Keri Gilder, Colt’s CEO in a press release. 

“Our industry is on the cusp of groundbreaking transformation; it must deliver a digital roadmap for a hyperconnected global society in a responsible, fair and equitable way. As a pioneer for sustainable networks, the acquisition makes Colt one of the most powerful voices in the industry. It gives us the opportunity to lead the industry in driving purposeful, meaningful change to protect our people and our planet,” she continued. 

“We’re excited about what this transaction does for our customers and for Lumen,” said Kate Johnson, Lumen’s CEO.  

“Our focus on building deep relationships with strategic partners allows us to simplify our business while delivering a seamless networking experience for our multinational customers. Through our strong relationship with Colt, both companies are well positioned for future growth. 

The sale is the latest in a string of deals for Lumen, who recently have sold off their US access network assets to private equity firm Apollo in a $7.5bn deal and has its Latin American business to Stonepeak for $2.7bn, most probably in an effort to reduce the firm’s $20 billion debt pile. 

Lumen published its third quarter earnings this week, which revealed earnings that fell well short of Wall Street expectations, reporting a net loss of $78 million. CEO Johnson hopes that the newly signed deal will aid the firm’s comeback: “We have successfully reached a broad agreement with creditors; this transaction allows us to remain focused on executing on our turnaround plans,” she said in a statement. 

Also in the earnings call, Johnson announced its plant to cut 4% of the workforce, which could amount to nearly 1200 positions. The move is an effort to reduce the firm’s $20 billion debt pile by $300 million. 

“As you might expect, this is a difficult, but necessary, decision given the revenue pressure we felt from the noise in the market regarding our creditor discussions as well as global macroeconomic pressures. These proactive steps to address our balance sheet and lower our cost base will reduce the noise, it will improve our agility and efficiency, and it will enable us to better compete in the markets we serve,” Johnson said. 

Hear from Keri Gilder, CEO of Colt at this year’s Total Telecom Congress, held 21-22 November 2023 in Amsterdam – book your last minute tickets now! 

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