on the block
Founder Anschutz to get $562 million in "forward sales"
By Greg Griffin, Staff Writer
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Qwest founder Philip Anschutz has sold more than a quarter of
his holdings in the Denver-based phone company this week in a
complex transaction to be completed in 2010.
It was the latest in a series of such deals Anschutz has entered
into in recent months that will cut his ownership in Qwest
almost in half within four years.
Anschutz Co., the Denver financier's investment firm, entered
into a "forward sales contract" with Credit Suisse for 80
million shares, Anschutz spokesman Jim Monaghan said. Credit
Suisse began marketing 66.2 million of those shares on Tuesday
for $8.19 per share.
Anschutz was to receive $562 million under the contract and is
entitled to a portion of future stock gains through 2010,
according to a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange
In similar deals in June and July, Anschutz received $357
million for 55 million shares, plus a share of future growth.
Under the forward sales contracts, Anschutz retains ownership
and voting rights in the shares until 2009 or 2010. He also
will receive a portion of the growth in the share prices during
that time. "This financial instrument speaks volumes to the
company's and Phil's confidence in Qwest and the management,"
Monaghan said. Anschutz "will be able to participate in the
growth ... out until 2009 to 2010."
Monaghan would not say why Anschutz is entering the sales
contracts now. In recent years, Anschutz has focused on
investments in sports, entertainment and cinema.
"Anschutz Co. is an investment company with broad interests and
quite a bit of activity. It's not uncommon to move stock around
and make various investments," Monaghan said.
Anschutz is Qwest's largest shareholder, with 16 percent of the
stock. He said in a regulatory filing in late 2003 that he
owned 300.4 million Qwest shares, according to Bloomberg.
After 2010, based on his recent sales agreements, Anschutz's
holdings would fall to 165.4 million shares, or 9 percent of
Formerly Qwest's chairman, Anschutz no longer sits on the board
The Anschutz Family Investment Co., which is controlled by
Anschutz Co. but of which Anschutz owns just 1 percent, also has
been reducing its holdings in Qwest. In June, the fund sold
call options on 17.2 million shares for $23 million.
Qwest's shares closed Wednesday at $8.19, down 2.15 percent.
Staff writer Greg Griffin
can be reached at 303-954-1241 or