Windstream will maintain Little Rock presence

Windstream's (Nasdaq: WIN) former parent Alltel may have left Little Rock, Ark. when it was acquired by Verizon Wireless, but the wireline company is going to stay put.

After Windstream was formed when Alltell spun out its wireline operations and subsequently merged with Irving, Texas-based Valor Communications, the service provider's building lease was up.  

But a lot has changed in just four years. Over just the past four years, Windstream has acquired the assets of five service providers, including four ILECs (CT Communications, D&E Communications, Lexcom and Iowa Telecommunications) and one CLEC (NuVox).

While the size of acquisitions pales in comparison to Windstream's ambitious counterparts--namely CenturyLink's (NYSE: CTL) acquisition of the former EMBARQ and pending deal to acquire Qwest (NYSE: Q), and Frontier's (NYSE: FTR) recently completed deal to acquire Verizon's rural lines--they did help the wireline operator expand its reach from 16 to 23 states.

Jeff Gardner, Windstream's CEO said they'll not only continue acquiring other service providers, but also they aren't leaving anytime soon. In addition to its main Little Rock-based headquarters building, Windstream will maintain a separate 300-employee engineering site.

"In the end, after careful analysis, we decided that that the best course for the company was to remain in Little Rock and Arkansas," he said.

Over the next few years, Windstream plans to hire more employees in Little Rock.

For more:
- CED via AP has this article

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Jeff Gardner, President and CEO of Windstream - rising independent ILEC stars
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Verizon snaps up Alltel for $28.1B
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