During the first-quarter earnings call for Windstream Communications earlier this month, CEO Jeff Gardner suggested that Windstream was open to buying other companies if the deals allowed the telco to achieve better market scale and positioning. Since then, Windstream has not tipped its hand regarding the potential deals, but the rumor mill has been churning out possible targets, including Citizens Communications, Iowa Telecom and Consolidated Holdings--all suggested by Credit Suisse analysts.
At one point last year just after acquiring CT Communications, it seemed like Windstream was well-positioned for an acquisition binge. But, company officials at that time said difficult market conditions were likely to slow rural telco consolidation across the market and push possible deals into this year. Part of what might make deals more attractive right now for Windstream is the fact that a restriction on the number of shares Windstream can issue is set to expire on July 18. Should be an interesting summer in rural telco land.
- read this report at The Morning News of Arkansas