U.S. telecommunications firm Windstream Holdings, Inc. said Monday it has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Earthlink Holdings Corp. under which Windstream and EarthLink will merge in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $1.1 billion, including debt.

Windstream expects to issue approximately 93 million shares of stock valued at approximately $673 million, based on the company’s closing stock price on Nov. 4, 2016. Upon closing of the transaction, Windstream shareholders will own approximately 51 percent and EarthLink shareholders will own approximately 49 percent of the combined company.

The combination will result in an extensive national footprint spanning approximately 145,000 fiber route miles and provide advanced network connectivity, managed services, voice, internet and other value-added services, said Windstream.

“With this transaction, we are combining two highly complementary organizations with closely aligned operating strategies and business unit structures,” said Tony Thomas, president and chief executive officer at Windstream.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2017.

 

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