Iowa Telecommunications Services' board approves merger with Windstream

Windstream has reached another milestone in its M&A growth strategy today as Iowa Telecommunications Services' shareholders gave their approval for their merger with the independent ILEC.

When the deal is finalized, which was approved yesterday by 97.8 percent of IWA's shareholders, Iowa Telecommunications Services will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Windstream.

In late November, Windstream announced it would acquire Iowa Telecom for $530 million in stock and cash. Although Windstream expects to close the deal in mid-2010, Windstream still needs the approval of both the FCC and the Iowa Utilities board.

While Windstream has stayed out of the larger acquisition fray like its counterparts CenturyLink and Frontier, its $1.3 billion investment strategy to purchase other smaller telephone companies is part of company CEO Jeff Garnder's thesis "to grow scale in rural America." Iowa Telecommunications is the fourth acquisition Windstream made throughout the past year. Of course, industry onlookers will likely continue to wonder what their next purchase will be and whether they will make a move on a larger independent ILEC.  

For more:
- see the release here
- see this map of Windstream acquisitions

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