Uniti Group in Advanced Talks to Reunite with Windstream in $15 Billion Merger

Uniti Group and Windstream, once separated, are in advanced talks to merge in a $15B deal, reuniting the telecom giants and reshaping the industry.

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Wojciech Zylm
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Uniti Group in Advanced Talks to Reunite with Windstream in $15 Billion Merger

Uniti Group in Advanced Talks to Reunite with Windstream in $15 Billion Merger

Uniti Group Inc., a real estate investment trust that owns wireless towers, is in advanced discussions to merge with telecommunications provider Windstream in a deal that could be valued at up to $15 billion, including debt.

The companies, whose separation a decade ago resulted in Windstream's bankruptcy, might announce the merger within a week or so, according to people familiar with the matter.

Under the potential deal, Uniti would remain a publicly traded company following the merger. Uniti and Windstream have a long history and are closely intertwined, with Windstream being Uniti's largest customer and tenant. The spinoff of Uniti from Windstream in 2015 was determined to have created a default for Windstream, as it violated the company's debt covenants.

News of the potential merger sent Uniti's stock soaring as much as 13% on Monday. Uniti, which has a market capitalization of $1.3 billion, owns approximately 138,000 fiber route miles and 8.3 million fiber strand miles, as well as other communications real estate assets.

Why this matters: The potential merger between Uniti Group and Windstream would reunite two companies with a complex history and significant interdependence. The deal, if completed, could have major implications for the telecommunications infrastructure landscape and the financial health of both companies involved.

While nothing has been finalized and the timing could change or the talks could fall through, the advanced stage of the negotiations suggests a deal is likely. Bloomberg News previously reported on the potential merger in February. "The companies, whose separation a decade ago resulted in Windstream's bankruptcy, might announce the merger within a week or so," said one of the people familiar with the matter.

Key Takeaways

  • Uniti Group and Windstream in advanced merger talks worth up to $15B.
  • Merger would reunite companies after Uniti's 2015 spinoff from Windstream.
  • Uniti owns 138,000 fiber route miles and 8.3M fiber strand miles.
  • Merger could have major implications for telecom infrastructure and finances.
  • Announcement of the potential merger expected within a week.