Level 3 Communications ( NYSE:LVLT ) (+4%; +031%), a global fiber and integrated communications network company was the primary contributor to the Fund's fourth quarter return. The stock rose 22% with the announcement of a merger with CenturyLink, Inc., equating to $66.50 per Level 3 share, a 42% premium to the closing price prior to the announcement. This deal offers numerous benefits for shareholders. The combined company will increase the capacity and reach of CenturyLink's domestic and Level 3's global high-bandwidth fiber networks. Although CenturyLink has been tainted by the performance of its legacy landline business, its Qwest fiber network is a high quality asset. Projected synergies total $975 million, with $125 million in reduced capital expenditures and the remaining $850 million split in half between operating expense reductions and moving data usage onto the company's own network. Additionally, Level 3 will get four directors on the new board. CenturyLink CEO Glen Post has announced that the new CFO will be Sunit Patel who has successfully integrated large acquisitions and managed balance sheets well in his tenure at Level 3.
From Longleaf Partners' fourth quarter 2016 commentary .
This article first appeared on GuruFocus .
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.