The US competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) Paetec Holding has agreed to pay USD557 million to acquire Iowa-based CLEC McLeodUSA. The all-stock transaction will create a super-regional operator which the companies say will be better placed to compete with the larger US wireline carriers such as AT&T and Verizon. McLeod operates 4,000 route miles of metro networks in 20 states in the Western and Midwestern United States, covering key markets such as Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Phoenix, and Seattle. Together the two firms serve around 3.4 million access lines and have annual revenues in the region of USD1.6 billion. McLeod shareholders are receiving 1.3 Paetec shares for each McLeod share they own.