In an effort to close a transaction for its fourth divestment in less than two years, Lumen Technologies has hired Goldman Sachs to assist it to market its network assets in four states around the Midwest and Western U.S.
According to sources acquainted with the situation, Lumen is specifically looking to sell its holdings in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The individuals spoke on the condition of anonymity because the sale’s details are private.
The deal is referred to as “Project Yellowstone” in the pitch. According to the sources, Lumen wants to lease back wholesale connections in those regions and is aiming to sell all four of its states’ assets collectively rather than separately.
The pitch is free to use, making it one of the sources said.
Lumen declined to comment, with a representative telling Fierce it does not respond to “rumors or speculation.”
Data from BroadbandNow shows that DSL makes up the majority of Lumen’s CenturyLink-branded assets in the four states that are up for sale. However, there are modest concentrations of fibre in each, mostly in major cities like Billings, Helena, and Great Falls in Montana; Casper and Rock Springs in Wyoming; Rapid City and Sioux Falls in South Dakota; and Bismarck and Fargo in North Dakota.
In a recent update on its home Quantum Fiber construction strategy, Lumen added the states of Montana and Wyoming to the list of those where it claimed deployments were ongoing. It stated specifically that work is being done in Bozeman, Montana, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. The only two states in its 16-state span that were absent from its project roster were North Dakota and South Dakota. It is unclear whether the announcement of the builds in Montana and Wyoming was related to Lumen’s efforts to strike a deal.
Over the past 18 months, the company has been busy with other divestitures, such as the $2.7 billion sale of its Latin America business and the $7.5 billion sale of its ILEC assets in 20 states. In the second half of this year, both of the deals were completed. Lumen announced plans to sell its EMEA division to Colt Technology Services for $1.8 billion earlier this month.
Speaking at an investor conference earlier this week, Lumen CFO Chris Stansbury said “I think we’re getting close to the point where the big chunks of assets that we feel are less strategic are being addressed with the EMEA arrangement,” adding “the big pruning has been done.”
However, he said it’s evaluating assets that sit in its so-called Harvest bucket of products to see if there are any “that we can realize good value [from] by selling. And if there are, if there’s a market for that where somebody’s willing to pay for it, then we’d be interested in selling it.” He concluded, “if there’s not, then we’re going to continue to manage those assets for cash.”