As Windstream completes its network grooming and integratrion projects, the telco says it is now in a position to pursue potential mergers and acquisitions that complement its consumer and enterprise units.
Bob Gunderman, CFO of Windstream, told investors during the Deutsche Bank 24th Annual Leveraged Finance Conference it can now look at purchasing complementary assets.
“We look at our readiness for M&A as being much better than it was a year ago,” Gunderman said. “Over the last several quarters we had a lot to do with the networks and as we look over the next couple of quarters we see a number of those projects come to completion.”
In previous years, Windstream had been an aggressive consolidator in the ILEC and CLEC space, purchasing a number of service providers such as Paetec and Kentucky Data Link, both of which enhanced the telco’s scale in the business market.
Specifically, Windstream said it would look at acquisitions that could complement its consumer ILEC and enterprise business lines.
“In terms of the types of companies we might be attracted to would be ones that we are investing in organically whether it is the consumer business or the enterprise business,” Gunderman said. “Those are the types of assets or companies we’d look to be very complementary to the current set of assets that we operate.”
Another key consideration would be in how any acquisition could enhance its current network holdings. This could include anything from a smaller ILEC to a regional fiber provider that could help Windstream scale its on-net fiber capabilities.
“Using M&A to assimilate network assets that would be complementary to our consumer, business or our carrier business would be something that we would find attractive,” Gunderman said.
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