Windstream builds new board ahead of exit from Chapter 11

Ahead of its plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy near the end of August, Windstream Holdings announced a new board of directors. Current CEO and President Tony Thomas will continue in those roles while also serving on the new board.

“I am extremely honored to continue serving as president and CEO of this incredible organization," Thomas said in a statement. "Over the past few years, Windstream has made tremendous progress in our goal to transform our business to growth, and I look forward to working with the new board to accelerate our transformation for long-term value creation.

"We will emerge from restructuring with a strong balance sheet and access to approximately $2 billion in new capital to expand 1 Gig broadband service to rural America and help businesses succeed in the digital transformation.”

Last month, Judge Robert Drain, of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, confirmed Windstream's plan for reorganization Thursday afternoon. Windstream expects to complete the financial restructuring process and then emerge as a privately-held company in late August.

The company's reorganization plan allows Windstream to trim its debt by more than $4 billion and reorganize its governance, which includes naming some of its creditors to seats on the company's new board of directors. The reorganization plan eliminated junior bondholders who were owed close to $2.4 billion, converted some senior debt to equity and made Elliott Management Windstream's largest shareholder.

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Windstream operated under the cloud of Chapter 11 bankruptcy since February of last year after it lost a legal battle with New York hedge fund Aurelius Capital Management over whether Windstream had defaulted on bonds by spinning off the Uniti Group four years ago.

In addition to Thomas, the new board includes:

David Brown— Brown is managing director of Oaktree Capital Management;

• Randy Dunbar—Dunbar most recently served as president of Zayo’s global transport segment;

• Bruce Kenny—Kenny is an operating executive at Evergreen Coast Capital;

• William LaPerch—Perch was president and CEO of AboveNet;

• W. Robert Mudge—Mudge most recently served as executive vice president of strategic initiatives at Verizon;

• Paul H. Sunu—Sunu was the former CEO of FairPoint Communications;

• Anand Vadapalli—Vadapalli currently serves as operating partner at SDC Capital Partners LLC, and director at Premera Blue Cross;

• Michael Watchorn—Watchorn is a principal of Seapoint Capital Management;

• Johannes Weber—Weber is a portfolio manager in the New York office of Elliott Management Corporation.

Windstream will name one additional member to its board at a later date.