Windstream is taking another step in realigning its company structure, announcing that it has been advised by proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co. to vote for a 1-for-6 reverse stock split and an amendment to a Windstream subsidiary's charter to allow conversion of the subsidiary to a limited liability company (LLC).
Likewise, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) also has recommended that shareholders vote for the proposals.
On Feb. 20, Windstream will hold a special stockholders meeting to approve the reverse stock split and converting Windstream Corp. into a LLC.
These pending shareholder votes come as Windstream spins off parts of its telecom network assets into an independent publicly traded REIT, called Communications Sales & Leasing (CS&L).
When the spinoff is completed, Windstream plans to distribute approximately 80 percent of CS&L common stock to Windstream stockholders. Under the terms of the agreement, stockholders will receive 0.20 shares of CS&L for every Windstream share currently held, with the Windstream reverse stock split to occur after the distribution.
As previously announced in July, the new CS&L will then lease use of the assets to Windstream through a long-term triple-net exclusive lease. Windstream will operate and maintain the assets to deliver communications and technology services to consumers and businesses, while CS&L will focus on expanding and diversifying its assets and tenants through future acquisitions.
At the same time, CS&L has been firming up its leadership team. The service provider recently named Stephens Inc. veteran Kenny Gunderman to be president and CEO of CS&L.
In January, the service provider got all of the state regulatory approvals it needs from state public service commissions in its territory to move ahead with its planned REIT spinoff that it announced last July.
- see the release
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