02 January 2018
| Jason Mcgee-Abe
Windstream Communications is set to acquire New York-based Mass Communications (MassComm) in an all-cash transaction, according to an FCC filing.
The filing, issued on 26 December 2017, requests the Commission’s “consent to transfer control of the international and domestic Section 214 authorisations held by MassComm to Windstream”. Windstream would purchase all of the issued and outstanding capital stock of MassComm, which would then become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Windstream.
MassComm is a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) which provides telecommunications and connectivity management, consultation and development solutions for voice, data, and network technologies to mid-sized global enterprise customers. It is authorised to provide competitive local exchange service and/or interexchange service in California, Connecticut, the District of Colombia, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
“The combination of MassComm’s innovative services and customer base with Windstream’s larger CLEC operations and fibre network will enable the combined company to increase its competitiveness by expanding its portfolio of services, generating efficiencies that benefit customers, and serving more customers over its own facilities where it can,” the filing said.
The document added that the transaction poses no risk to competition or the public interest as MassComm doesn’t own any last-mile facilities.
The companies entered into a stock purchase agreement on 22 December 2017 wherein Windstream proposed to acquire the stock, which is held by four shareholders. Following the transaction, “the only holder of 10% or more of a Windstream Holdings’ stock is expected to be The Vanguard Group, a US-based investment management company providing mutual funds and exchange-traded funds for individual and institutional investors”, with Vanguard’s holding staying at 13.4%.
To carriers and network operators, Windstream provides special access services, Ethernet and wave transport, fibre-to-the-tower connections, and wholesale voice and data services. Windstream operates a local and long-haul fibre network spanning approximately 150,000 route miles and provides services over fixed wireless infrastructure in 40 markets.
The day after the filing, Windstream announced that its SD-WAN solution has been purchased by more than 500 mid-enterprise customers, crediting the rapid uptake to closer relationships in developing its business customers’ “needs and application/cloud migration roadmap”.
Windstream had recently expanded its SDN Orchestrated Waves (SDNow) transport service in 50 markets across the US, including major cloud connectivity and international interconnect locations.