Windstream to acquire rural Pa. phone company

Windstream Communications, Lexington's local telephone provider, announced Monday that it plans to acquire a rural Pennsylvania telephone provider for $330 million.

D&E Communications has about 165,000 access lines throughout Pennsylvania, where Windstream already has about 200,000.

Shareholders of D&E Communications (Nasdaq: DECC) will receive 0.65 shares of Windstream stock and $5 in cash for each D&E share under the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval. Windstream also will assume $171 million in debt.

In announcing the deal, Windstream CEO Jeff Gardner noted that all of D&E's lines are capable of high-speed Internet with half able to offer speeds up to 10 Mbps. D&E has about 44,000 Internet customers.

For its fiscal year ending March 31, D&E had $148 million in revenue. By contrast, Windstream generates more than $3 billion in revenue annually.