Telecommunications company CenturyLink is upgrading its network with the acquisition of Internet backbone provider Level 3 Communications in a deal valued at $34 billion.

In the cash and stock transaction, Level 3 shareholders will get $26.50 and 1.4286 shares of CenturyLink stock for each share of Level 3 stock. At $66.50 per Level 3 share, that represents a premium of about 42% over Level 3 closing share price of $46.92 on Oct. 26. Included debt brings the deal to $34 billion, the companies said.

Windstream and EarthLink to merge in $1.1 billion transaction
Combination Creates a Stronger, More Competitive Company with Extensive National Footprint Spanning Approximately 145,000 Fiber Route Miles

Enables Expanded Products, Services and Enhanced Enterprise Solutions for Customers

Anticipated Annual Operating and Capital Expenditure Synergies of More than $125 Million Representing a Net Present Value of Approximately $900 Million, or More than $4.70 per Windstream Share and $3.85 per EarthLink Share