Some news gets bypassed during earnings season, let's look at a few items I didn't write about this week:
itcd changed its mind and withdrew its offering for $325M in senior secured notes, with which it had planned to refinance its credit facilities and thus remove some restrictive financial covenants. The reason given was that the cost of capital rose unexpectedly and that turned an attractive deal into an unattractive one. That's the simplest explanation of course, and probably true as well. But there's always the other possibility... a bidder appeared. As described in the discussion following an earlier post on this subject, any theoretical acquirer would probably prefer to deal with the current debt as is.
Following its earnings report, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) extended its local markets initiative into central Florida. That includes their strongholds in the Tampa Bay/St.Petersburg/Clearwater and Orlando areas, and follows October's Miami expansion. Level 3's fiber in the region derives from three substantial footprints: the original Level 3 metro build-out, the Progress Telecom footprint, and the Telcove presence. They will be adding staff and extending their fiber networks in the region as part of an effort to mobilize the company's mid-market metro fiber business. According to the earnings presentation, similar announcements will be forthcoming in Houston, Ohio, and San Francisco.
TW Telecom (NASDAQ:TWTC, news, filings) announced a nice deal up in the Pacific Northwest with Washington Trust Bank. They will be providing IPVPN services connecting 41 branches and offices across Washington with the bank's technology centers, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. It's a classic TW Telecom contract, one that doesn't make too many headlines but brings home the bacon for years to come.
TW Telecom also held onto the top non-ILEC spot on Vertical Systems Group's Ethernet Leaderboard, with Cox now moving into place just behind them. Overall, I'm not a big fan of such rankings - they tend to oversimplify a complex marketplace and tend to involve too much human judgment to actually be a reliable measure of much (e.g. figure skating). But Cox's improving position in the business Ethernet market lends extra heft to the idea that the cable MSOs are poised to shake up the business markets this year.
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