Windstream has announced that it has received all state and federal regulatory approvals required for its USD1.1 billion merger with EarthLink, as first announced in November 2016. Windstream and EarthLink will each hold special meetings of their respective stockholders on 24 February in connection with the merger, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, subject to customary closing conditions.
Upon closing of the transaction, Windstream shareholders will own approximately 51% and EarthLink shareholders will own around 49% of the combined company. The enlarged entity will have an extensive national footprint spanning approximately 145,000 fibre route miles, including strategic routes located in the Southeast and Northeast US. Of the 29,000 fibre route miles that EarthLink is bringing into the combined company, 16,000 are said to be ‘unique’. Further, the two companies have identified more than USD125 million in annual operating and capital expense synergies that are expected to be fully realised within 36 months of closing.