Strong demand increases Qwest debt sale
By Ross Wehner, Staff Writer
Denver Post
Thursday, June 9, 2005

Qwest upped its debt sale Wednesday from $1.25 billion to $1.75 billion, making it the largest such sale since the junk bond market tumbled in March.

The strong demand boosts Qwest and reflects well on the high-yield bond market, said Janco Partners analyst Donna Jaegers.

"There's more appetite out there for bonds," she said. "People also have confidence in Qwest."

The $1.75 billion in new debt will allow Qwest to refinance older debt at more attractive rates.

Qwest also upped the amount of older bonds it will buy back to $1.65 billion, from $900 million.

The money gained from the refinancing will boost Qwest's cash holdings as the Denver-based phone company reportedly considers strategic acquisitions of XO Communications and other telecoms. Qwest held $1.4 billion in cash as of March 31.

"They don't necessarily need all this money," Jaegers said. "But they are hitting the market at a good time."

Staff writer Ross Wehner can be reached at 303-820-1503 or rwehner@denverpost.com.

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_2791399