PAETEC Bond Holders Pass On Windstream Early Buyout

As PAETEC Holding Corp. prepares for its $2.3 billion acquisition by Windstream Corp., most of its bond holders have waived an important provision.

The bond holders this week agreed not to enforce a condition that would have required Windstream to do an early buyout. An early buyout could have meant that Windstream would have paid bond holders less than what the issues are currently worth. The notes due in 2015, 2017 and 2018 carry interest rates of 9.5 percent, 8.875 percent and 9.875 percent, respectively.

Now, with the vote secured, Windstream will assume $1.4 billion of PAETEC debt, as expected, once the $891 million stock purchase is finalized.

Windstream announced on Aug. 1 that its buying PAETEC, which owns a competitive service provider, a software division, an equipment unit and other subsidiaries. The deal surprised the telecom industry but made sense in the context of Windstreams previous business-oriented purchases, including NuVox, KDL/Norlight and others. Windstream historically has been a rural, residential operator but has worked to focus on the lucrative business services market acquisitions have been a key part of achieving that aim.


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