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Windstream Sells Big Part of EarthLink Business

Purchase handshake

Windstream has started 2019 free of a portion of the business it acquired in its merger with EarthLink in February 2017.

Trive Capital, a Dallas-based private equity firm, bought the legacy EarthLink consumer internet business for $330 million in cash. The business offers internet access, online backup, managed web design, web hosting and various email services to more than 600,000 customers throughout the United States.

Windstream's Curt Allen

Windstream’s Curt Allen

Curt Allen, Windstream Enterprise’s senior vice president of channel, tells Channel Partners the EarthLink consumer business was always distinct and separate from the channel so the sale of that part of the business should not have a impact on the channel.

“We will continue to support the channel and extend even more resources to help our partners migrate their customers to next-generation solutions in 2019,” he said. “We have invested heavily to support our efforts and have added technical vertical resources for UCaaS/CCaaS, SD-WAN and strategic deployment of our on-net assets. These new resources are in addition to our vertical market resources around retail, hospitality and health care.”

Windstream has seen a “significant influx” of partners using its extended selling resources to execute large and complex opportunities, as well more standard mid-market solutions, Allen said.

Keep up with the latest channel-impacting mergers and acquisitions in our M&A roundup.

“The partner community has embraced our strategy with an approach to emerging solutions,” he said.

This transaction allows Windstream to divest a non-core segment and focus exclusively on its two largest business units, said Tony Thomas, Windstream’s president and CEO. In addition, it improves Windstream’s credit profile and metrics in 2019 and beyond, he said.

“We are excited to partner with and support the EarthLink management team in continuing to provide great products and services available to millions of households in the United States,” said Conner Searcy, Trive managing partner.  “We intend to provide additional resources and access to deep industry relationships to help grow the brand in the coming years.”


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