Windstream Closes Takeover of KDL, Norlight

For the second day in a row, Windstream Corp. has closed an acquisition.

This time, the rural services provider wrapped the purchase of Q-Comm Corp., which includes subsidiaries Kentucky Data Link, a fiber operator, and Norlight Inc., a CLEC. Windstream first announced in August that it would buy Q-Comm for the fiber and competitive carrier assets.

Windstream paid $279 million in cash, and issued 20.6 million common shares worth $273 million. The Little Rock, Ark.-based company financed the deal with cash and proceeds from a recent bond offering. At the same time, Windstream repaid $266 million of Q-Comms debt. The entire transaction totaled about $818 million.

In the past year, Windstream has purchased NuVox and Iowa Telecom, gaining greater traction as a fiber services provider as it steers away from its local telephone roots. Now, with KDL and Norlight, Windstream again is expanding its fiber presence to businesses and government agencies. KDL specializes in long-haul fiber that spans 23 states and the District of Columbia; Norlight is a CLEC serving approximately 5,500 SMBs in the Midwest. Both companies are based in Evansville, Ind.

Windstream expects to achieve annual operating expense and capital expenditure synergies of approximately $25 million.

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