Windstream has announced that it has agreed to acquire NuVox in a USD463 million deal, another illustration of rural telcos scooping up smaller players to stay competitive with their cable-based rivals, Dow Jones Newswires reports. Since May, Windstream has agreed to buy three smaller rural telcos in deals with a combined value of more than USD760 million, or more than USD1 billion when factoring the debt. For privately held NuVox, Windstream will pay USD280 million in cash and issue USD183 million in stock, while assuming USD180 million in debt. The company plans to use its existing cash and tap its revolving credit line to fund the deal. NuVox owns operations in 16 states and has roughly 90,000 business customers. Windstream operates in 16 states and boasts three million access lines. Windstream said that the deal is expected to save it USD30 million in annual operating expenses and capital expenditures. In May, Windstream entered into an agreement to buy D&E Communications for USD159 million in cash and stock, in addition to absorbing USD171 million in debt. In September the company agreed to buy Lexcom Inc. for USD141 million in cash.