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Uniti and Windstream Merge to Form US Fiber Provider

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In Short:

Uniti Group and Windstream have agreed to merge, with Uniti shareholders owning 62% and Windstream shareholders owning 38% of the combined company. The merger will create a leading fiber provider in the US, serving over 1.1 million customers and 1.5 million homes. The merger will enhance strategic initiatives and expand fiber broadband reach. The merger is expected to close in the second half of 2025.

Uniti Announces Merger With Windstream to Create US Fiber Provider
Digital infrastructure provider Uniti Group announced that it has signed a definitive merger agreement with Windstream, a telecom services provider in 18 US states. Windstream is a privately held company headquartered in Arkansas and operates three brands: Kinetic, Windstream Enterprise, and Windstream Wholesale.

Merger Agreement Details

Under the terms of the agreement, Uniti shareholders will hold approximately 62 percent of the combined company, and Windstream shareholders will hold approximately 38 percent of the outstanding common equity. Elliott Investment Management (Elliott) is Windstream‘s largest shareholder and also the largest investor in Uniti.

The merger combines Uniti‘s national wholesale-owned fiber network with Windstream‘s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) business, creating a premier fiber provider in the US. The combined company will initially serve over 1.1 million customers and 1.5 million existing homes passed, with a particularly strong presence in the Midwest and Southeast.

Strategic Positioning

The combined company will be uniquely positioned within Tier II and III markets throughout the US, enhancing the potential for strategic initiatives, the partners said.

Additionally, the combined company will have the ability to expand its FTTH build by up to 1 million additional households. The merged entity will continue to operate as Uniti and will be headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, the official release said.

“As a combined company, we will continue our disciplined growth trajectory while expanding FTTH buildouts and significantly improving our overall financial profile. The demand for fiber broadband has never been greater, and Uniti is now expanding its reach into FTTH with an attractive scaled platform,” Uniti said.

“The combination of Uniti and Windstream also removes several dis-synergies that exist in the current landlord/tenant relationship and greatly enhances Uniti‘s optionality for strategic initiatives. We look forward to working with Windstream to create a national fiber powerhouse that will continue to bridge the digital divide for our customers,” Uniti added.

Expected Timeline

The merger is expected to close in the second half of 2025, subject to closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals and approval by Uniti shareholders.

As of March 31, 2024, communication infrastructure provider Uniti owns approximately 141,000 fiber route miles, 8.5 million fiber strand miles, and other communications real estate throughout the United States.

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