Nov. 23, 2015, 8:34 PM
- Data center operators probably aren't in a buying mood for facilities that might be for sale -- particularly CenturyLink's, Macquarie suggests in a new report -- but private-equity firms could come in with bids.
- CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), the nation's third-largest local phone company, plans to sell 59 centers worldwide, and while Macquarie had thought Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR) would get involved, analyst Kevin Smithen has changed his view after attending an industry trade show.
- He now doubts that a buyer will come from among Digital Realty, DuPont Fabros (NYSE:DFT), Equinix (NASDAQ:EQIX), CyrusOne (NASDAQ:CONE), CoreSite or QTS Realty, with a limited "pool of logical and capable buyers" for assets from CenturyLink, or from Verizon (NYSE:VZ) or AT&T (NYSE:T). But near term, "private equity seems like the most likely acquirer of assets this size."
- While CenturyLink assets are for sale, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo tried to shut down "speculative" reports that the company would pursue $10B in asset sales.
May 21, 2015, 6:04 PM
- Giving some key hope to suitors for Time Warner Cable not named Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler placed individual calls to various cable execs -- including TWC's Rob Marcus and Charter's Tom Rutledge -- to say the agency's not against any and all deals just because it kiboshed Comcast's, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
- Wheeler reportedly wanted to clarify the FCC stance amid industry confusion about just how much consolidation it would support, and said that each potential deal would be judged on its merits.
- Wheeler did express that he's like to see more competition from companies that traditionally haven't battled in the same geographies, and encouraged the prospect of cablecos "overbuilding" into each other's service areas, according to the WSJ.
- With TWC looking like the key catch, its stock has risen 8.9% over the past month.
- Consolidation prospects: TWC, CHTR, OTC:ATCEY, CVC, CTL, FTR, WIN, FRP, CBB
Apr. 20, 2015, 6:41 PM
- CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) has acquired database service provider Orchestrate, in order to add its capabilities into the CenturyLink Cloud platform.
- Orchestrate promises to save clients the hassle of running their own database instances by providing multiple varieties of database-as-a-service offerings.
- It's one of a few recent moves by CenturyLink to shore up data analytics, including the fall acquisitions of DataGardens and Cognilytics.
- Orchestrate's key leadership is joining CenturyLink, including co-founders Antony Falco (CEO) and Ian Plosker (CTO).
- The two firms are recent partners, as Orchestrate became available via CenturyLink Cloud early last month.
Dec. 11, 2014, 5:38 PM
- CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) has bought Cognilytics, a provider of analytics tools for mid-sized and large enterprises. Terms are undisclosed.
- CenturyLink says it will offer cloud-based analytics that leverage Cognilytics' software, as it tries to better compete against cloud infrastructure rivals such as Amazon, Microsoft, IBM/SoftLayer, and Google (some of them have their own analytics services).
- Cognilytics, which claims to have an $18M/year business, offers software for managing a company's predictive models (Model Controller), as well as for running them (Decision Analyzer). It also provided industry-specific data visualization tools.
- Previous: CenturyLink buys cloud disaster recovery software firm
Dec. 8, 2014, 6:40 PM
- CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) has bought DataGardens, a provider of disaster recovery software for enterprises and cloud service providers. Terms are undisclosed.
- DataGardens' software can be used to handle disaster recovery for corporate data between on-premise facilities, between an on-premise facility and a cloud data center, and between two cloud data centers. However, the company has focused on optimizing for cloud services.
- The startup already has a partnership wit CenturyLink's cloud unit. Going forward, the latter plans to use DataGardens' software to offer disaster recovery services to both enterprises and SMBs.
- Last year, CenturyLink bought cloud infrastructure (IaaS) services firm Tier 3 and cloud app platform (PaaS) provider AppFog.
- Previous: CenturyLink counting on data centers, network to take on Amazon
Sep. 8, 2014, 2:05 AM
- Following months of takeover speculation and a strategic review that started in May, CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) is now looking to acquire Rackspace (NYSE:RAX), Bloomberg reports.
- A deal would enable CenturyLink to better compete against competitors by expanding its offerings of Internet and cloud services.
- Rackspace’s sales climbed 17% in 2013 to $1.5B, with $415.2M coming from cloud computing. CenturyLink’s revenue declined 1.5% to $18.1B last year.
Jul. 29, 2014, 12:14 PM
- "I’m skeptical it can be replicated," says Elevation LLC's Stephen Sweeney about Windstream's (WIN +12.9%) REIT spinoff plans. "It’s very unclear if other large cap companies can have their companies viewed by the IRS as real estate."
- UBS also has its doubts: It thinks AT&T (T +3.3%) and Verizon (VZ +1.8%) would have to open up their networks to rivals if they were spun off into REITs, something it doesn't think the carriers will be keen on doing.
- Oppenheimer's Tim Horan is more positive, albeit while cautioning Windstream's spinoff isn't a done deal. "If successful with this restructuring, and there are obviously high regulatory barriers, this will be a game changer for the valuation of non-REIT infrastructure stocks in our industry.”
- AT&T, Verizon, Windstream, Frontier (FTR +11.7%), and CenturyLink (CTL +4.2%) have pared their morning gains a bit amid volatile trading on very heavy volumes. AT&T has seen 66M shares trade vs. a daily average of 19.3M; Frontier has seen 89M trade vs. an average of 6.9M.
- Enthusiasm about Windstream's spinoff stems not only from the tax benefits provided to REITs - American Tower's tax expense has been halved since it converted into a REIT in 2012 - but also from the potential for spinoffs to spark new M&A activity.
- Windstream CFO Tony Thomas: "The REIT is going to be uniquely positioned to be in a great spot to help unlock value at other companies ... We have a good understanding of how the REIT opportunity could work in the telecom landscape."
- Earlier: Telcos soar following Windstream's REIT announcement
Jul. 11, 2014, 5:45 PM
- Rackspace (RAX -5.4%) has received "only modest buyer interest" since putting itself on the block, BrightWire reports. Shares have added to the Thursday losses they saw following a re/code report stating sources have denied H-P made a bid.
- BrightWire states CenturyLink (CTL - unchanged) "made an initial overture" to buy Rackspace, but adds its interest "was only casual and soon faded." Citi made the case for a Rackspace/CenturyLink deal last month.
- Separately, Wells Fargo's Gary Powell says talks make him consider a Rackspace LBO deal (would involve P-E firms) unlikely, and that the market has "correctly assumed" a 70%+ probability that no strategic buyer (i.e. a tech company) will emerge.
- Nonetheless, Powell reiterates an Outperform, and calls Rackspace's asset value under-appreciated. He adds CenturyLink and H-P "have not completely ruled out a potential deal with RAX."
Jun. 20, 2014, 10:10 AM
- Acquiring Rackspace (RAX +1%) would double CenturyLink's (CTL - unchanged) data services revenue, boost top-line growth, increase "customer stickiness," and "modestly [raise] leverage," writes Citi's David Phipps, making the case for a deal.
- At the same time, Phipps estimates a deal for Rackspace ($5.3B current market cap) would require ~$6B in financing, which in turn would lead to a credit downgrade for CenturyLink.
- CenturyLink spent $2.5B in 2011 to buy Web hosting and cloud infrastructure (IaaS) firm Savvis. But it also took a $1.1B charge last fall for its data hosting unit. The company has since bought another IaaS firm (Tier 3), and begun moving its managed data services to its cloud.
- Rackspace, a major Web host and the top provider of IaaS services based on the OpenStack platform, has reportedly hired Morgan Stanley to evaluate "inbound strategic proposals" and other options.
- Both Rackspace and CenturyLink are facing intense price competition from market leader Amazon, as well as Microsoft and Google.
- Previous: CenturyLink counting on data centers, network to challenge Amazon
Nov. 19, 2013, 9:17 AM
- CenturyLink (CTL) has acquired Tier 3, a provider of cloud infrastructure services for enterprises. Terms are undisclosed. (PR)
- Tier 3 attempts to differentiate its services in a hotly competitive space - major rivals include Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, VMware, and Rackspace - by a focus on simplifying service management and making it easy to automate/provision services.
- CenturyLink asserts Tier 3's "innovative [cloud] automation and self-service platform" is "game-changing" for its enterprise clients. The startup's offerings have already been rebranded as CenturyLink Cloud, and its "products, roadmap, and vision" will act as "the foundation of CenturyLink's cloud strategy." Tier 3 founder/CTO Jared Wray will become the CTO of CenturyLink's cloud unit.
- The acquisition comes shortly after CenturyLink took a $1.1B charge for its data hosting business, which includes the cloud infrastructure services offered by its Savvis unit. On its Q3 CC (transcript), the telco stated its Q/Q data hosting revenue growth was weaker than expected due to one-time credits and the loss of "a few major [server] colocation customers" at its legacy Qwest data centers.
Jun. 14, 2013, 4:51 PM
CenturyLink's (CTL +0.3%) Savvis data center unit is joining the ranks of cloud app platform (PaaS) providers by acquiring AppFog, a startup said to have enabled 150K+ apps from 100K+ developers. Unlike Salesforce (the top PaaS provider for public cloud services), AppFog is more focused on enabling apps run on private clouds (i.e. a company's own infrastructure). It faces competition here from Microsoft (Azure), Red Hat, and EMC/VMware's Pivotal spinoff. Savvis notes AppFog complements its Savvis Cloud suite of cloud infrastructure (IaaS) services, which face competition from Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Deal terms are undisclosed. (data center buildout)| Jun. 14, 2013, 4:51 PM
Jul. 13, 2011, 7:23 AM
Apr. 27, 2011, 7:33 AM