Financially stricken US telco Windstream and Uniti Group, a real estate investment trust which acquires and constructs mission critical communications infrastructure, have jointly announced that they have reached a settlement, following a mediation process overseen by federal bankruptcy judge Shelley C. Chapman. The negotiations culminated in an agreement (in principle) to resolve any and all claims and causes of action that have been or may be asserted against Uniti by Windstream, including all litigation brought by Windstream and its creditors in the context of Windstream’s bankruptcy. The settlement is supported by lenders that own more than 72% of Windstream’s outstanding first lien debt and more than one-third each of its second lien creditors and unsecured note holders, including affiliates of Elliott Management Corporation, Windstream’s largest creditor.
Kenny Gunderman, President and CEO of Uniti, commented: ‘We are pleased to have achieved a mutually beneficial outcome for both Uniti and Windstream, which has been our stated goal from the beginning. This agreement has substantial strategic value for Uniti as it immediately allows the company to expand its national fibre footprint with approximately 450,000 new fibre strand miles and 1.8 million of existing fibre strand miles that are able to be leased by Uniti to a third party. The agreement also provides further expansion in the coming years for additional fibre deployment with our commitment to invest up to USD1.75 billion of capital in Uniti-owned, Windstream-leased assets.’