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Windstream Exits Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Sans $4 Billion-Plus Debt

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Lit exit signs down hallway

After a year and seven months, Windstream exited chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday with two-thirds of its debt erased and $2 billion in new capital.

Windstream has reduced its debt by more than $4 billion. In addition, the company is now privately held. The Nasdaq delisted Its stock after Windstream filed chapter 11 in February of last year.

We talked with industry analysts and master agent PlanetOne about Windstream’s future post-bankruptcy.

The Windstream chapter 11 bankruptcy saga included court battles with Uniti Group and Charter Communications. It also brought big changes for Windstream partners.

New Era, More Competitive

Windstream's Tony Thomas

Windstream’s Tony Thomas

Tony Thomas is Windstream’s president and CEO.

“Today marks the start of a new era for Windstream as an even stronger, more competitive company,” said Thomas. “With the completion of our financial restructuring, we now have an enhanced balance sheet and a robust capital investment program to expand 1 gig internet service in rural America, and maintain our product and software leadership in SD-WAN and UCaaS for enterprise customers.”

Scroll through the timeline we assembled in the months following Windstream’s bankruptcy declaration.

Windstream also is continuing its strategic partnership with Uniti Group and has expanded that relationship, he said.

In May, a federal judge in New York approved Windstream’s proposed settlement with Uniti Group. Uniti spun off from Windstream in 2015 when the latter sold off some of its network assets. Uniti controls the broadband network that is critical to Windstream’s operations. Windstream supplies approximately 70% of Uniti’s revenue in exchange for access to the network.

“With the support of our new owners and current operational momentum, Windstream will continue advancing our long-term growth objectives while providing our customers with quality and reliable services,” Thomas said. “I would like to thank our customers, vendors and business partners for their ongoing support throughout this process. I would also like to extend my deepest gratitude to the Windstream team for their dedication to our customers and continued commitment to delivering essential telecommunications services during this unprecedented health care crisis.”

New Corporate Logo, Enhanced Value Proposition

New Windstream logo 2020Windstream also unveiled a new corporate logo. It will continue supporting its customers across the United States with a enhanced value proposition, including:

  • Windstream Enterprise, Windstream’s nationwide, cloud-optimized network and software offerings such as SD-WAN, UCaaS and OfficeSuite UC.
  • Kinetic by Windstream, offering consumers high-speed internet with speeds up to 1 gig. It also offers TV and entertainment options, home network security, Wi-Fi control and voice services.
  • Windstream Wholesale, which offers high-capacity bandwidth and transport services.

“Tony and the Windstream team have made significant strides in the last 18 months to better position the company to compete for the long term,” said Paul Sunu, chairman of the new Windstream board of directors. “The new board and I are confident that we have the right management team and right strategy to accelerate Windstream’s transformation, return to growth and drive sustainable value creation.”


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