The merger is expected to give the combined Windstream-EarthLink company a boost in its competitive position as it gains a broader set of fiber and network footprint as well as a larger customer base. Windstream’s portfolio includes network and data services, unified communications and voice, network security, managed services, and cloud services; while EarthLink also offers Internet, unified communications and voice, security, and data solutions for small businesses and enterprises.
Windstream has traditionally done well in markets such as public sector and health care. Meanwhile, EarthLink (stock price trending chart on right) has gained a large customer base in the retail market segment. As one company, the overall focus will be now on how they can expand and integrate their products and services to deliver more value to their customer bases.
According to Tony Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Windstream, its acquisition of EarthLink is in line with the company’s mission of creating a stronger, more competitive business that offers efficient services to customers. “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,” Thomas said.
For his part, Joe Eazor, president and chief executive officer of EarthLink, also said that he is looking forward to becoming part of the Windstream team. “In our work with Tony and his team, it’s become clear that we are two companies on parallel paths. We’ve both made significant progress as evidenced by our improving financial results and strengthening balance sheets. Now is the right time for us to come together. We look forward to working with the Windstream team to better serve our customers in a world that is becoming more network-centric every day,” he said.
Thomas will continue to serve as president and chief executive officer of the combined company once the transaction closes.
The all-stock transaction, valued at approximately $1.1 billion (including debt) is expected to close in the first half of the year.
2016 A Big Year for Mergers and Acquisitions
Windstream and EarthLink aren’t the only providers that got in on the consolidation trend in the business communications industry this past year. It would be noted that a number of carriers also shook the market with various mergers and acquisitions. Verizon took over XO Communications; Genesys teamed up with Interactive Intelligence; CenturyLink acquired Level3 Communications; BroadSoft acquired VoIP Logic; and so much more. It’s interesting to see what the combined company of Windstream and EarthLink will bring to the table and how it will set itself apart in the market once the deal is finalized.
Headquartered in Arkansas, Windstream is a leading nationwide provider of voice and data network communications, managed services, and cloud services. They cater to small businesses, enterprises, as well as to carriers and service providers in the United Status. With over 125,000 miles of fiber and data centers, Windstream enables businesses across the country to stay productive and secure, helping their business grow.
EarthLink is an Atlanta-based provider of network, voice, IT, and security services. From small businesses and enterprises to carriers, EarthLink offers a wide variety of solutions designed to address the needs of their markets. They operate a nationwide network which spans more than 29,000 fiber route miles, with 90 metro fiber rings and secure data centers, guaranteeing users have secure, ubiquitous data and voice IP coverage.