IP-based telecoms operator Qwest Communications has confirmed that a "major telecoms" company has pulled out of talks to acquire it and its merger partner, US West.
The 'major' carrier is thought to be Deutsche Telekom, which is keen to bolster its international coverage. The German telecoms giant is believed to have withdrawn from the talks because US West did not feel that its bid was attractive enough.
Deutsche Telekom was reported to have begun discussions with Qwest several weeks ago without US West's knowledge, although the local US operator joined the talks soon after. Qwest and US West agreed to merge last year and the deal is expected to close by the end of the summer.
Joseph Nacchio, Qwest's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement: "We regret that US West apparently wouldn't even consider an alternative transaction involving a major telecommunications company and Qwest, despite the possibility of greater value for US West shareholders."
But Al Spies, US West's vice president and chief financial officer, said the company would consider "additional transactions" only if they did not jeopardise or delay its merger with Qwest.
"Moreover, any subsequent business combination must also be better than or consistent with our existing transaction with Qwest," he added.
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