US telco Windstream has shed more light on its planned real estate investment trust (REIT) re-structuring, by announcing that it will retain 19.9% of the shares in the REIT and distribute the remaining 80.1% to Windstream stockholders. The telco said that the retained shares will be sold opportunistically during a twelve-month period following the spin-off, subject to market conditions, with the net proceeds used to retire debt. President and CEO Tony Thomas commented: ‘This refined structure allows Windstream to reach our leverage goals faster to strengthen our competitive position, which we believe is appropriate and prudent given the fast changing telecom industry and rapidly evolving customer needs. By improving Windstream’s credit profile, the REIT benefits from having a financially stronger anchor tenant and retains the financial flexibility to grow and return capital to its shareholders.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in July this year the telco divulged plans to spin off certain telecoms network assets into an independent, publicly traded REIT in order to accelerate network investments, provide enhanced services to customers and maximize shareholder value.