Qwest still focused on M&A

Steve Rosenbush

The strategic challenge for Qwest remains one of the most interesting in telecom. It doesn't have a potential easy exit, like BellSouth, which has a good shot at being acquired by a larger company. And having pared its debt from its highest levels, it can't really pull the plug and seek bankruptcy protection. That means it needs to focus on the basics, such as improving the operation of its business. And Qwest is trying to fashion a new M&A strategy from the . It lost out to Verizon, which is close to winning approval for its purchase. Qwest has yet to find a credible substitute for MCI. Telecom analyst David Barden of Banc of America Securities says "M&A activity remains one of management’s core strategic initiatives to leverage assets, boost margins and drive growth." But it has yet to find a target that would meet its requirements for strategic fit, operational fit and financial discipline."

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