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Windstream, EarthLink Agree To $1.1 Billion Merger Deal

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Windstream Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: WIN) and EarthLink Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: ELNK) disclosed an agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction worth about $1.1 billion. This included debt and the transaction is predicted to close in the first half of the next year.

According to the agreement terms, EarthLink shareholders would get 0.818 shares of Windstream for every share. Once the transaction is closed, Windstream shareholders would have 51 percent in the merged entity with the remaining to be held by EarthLink shareholders.

Windstream indicated it might issue about 93 million shares that are worth about $673 million based on the November 4 closing price. The companies cited the following advantages of the merger:

  • Strengthens position with the help of complimentary networks and increased scale.
  • Expects synergies of about $900 million apart from tax benefits.
  • Deal to improve balance sheet and improves free cash flow.

Windstream President and CEO Tony Thomas said, “With this transaction, we are combining two highly complementary organizations with closely aligned operating strategies and business unit structures. We look forward to working with the talented EarthLink team to create significant benefits and drive value for all of our stakeholders.”

Windstream shares were up about 3.6 percent to $7.50 in the pre-market session.

 

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