OREANDA-NEWS. March 17, 2017. CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) and Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) today announce that shareholders of both companies overwhelmingly approved all proposals related to the companies' merger.

At a special meeting of CenturyLink's shareholders held today in Monroe, approximately 96.3 percent of the votes cast supported the proposal to issue CenturyLink common stock to Level 3 stockholders in connection with the proposed merger.

At a special meeting of Level 3's stockholders held today in Broomfield, approximately 81.2 percent of Level 3's outstanding shares of common stock, and more than 98.8 percent of the votes cast, were voted in favor of approving the merger agreement.

"The combination of CenturyLink and Level 3 will significantly improve our global network capabilities, creating a company with one of the most robust fiber networks in the world," said Glen F. Post, III, chief executive officer and president of CenturyLink. "This expanded network should allow us to bring substantial operational and service benefits to our enterprise customers, as well as an enhanced customer experience."

In addition to approvals by CenturyLink and Level 3 shareholders and previously announced state regulatory approvals and clearances in Ohio, Utah and Nevada, the companies also recently received approvals in Georgia and West Virginia and clearances in Connecticut, Indiana and Louisiana. The two companies continue to expect to receive the remaining state, federal and international approvals in time to complete the merger by Sept. 30, 2017.

"We appreciate the strong support from our shareholders for the merger and their recognition of the benefits the combined company will bring. We're making solid progress with our regulatory approvals and remain optimistic that the process will continue smoothly with the remaining reviews," Post said.

Upon closing of the transaction, Level 3 stockholders will receive $26.50 per share in cash and 1.4286 shares of CenturyLink stock for each Level 3 share they own. Upon closing of the transaction, CenturyLink shareholders will own approximately 51 percent, and Level 3 stockholders will own approximately 49 percent, of the combined company. The combined company will be headquartered in Monroe, La., and will maintain a key operational presence in Colorado and the Denver metropolitan area.