Windstream completes series of acquisitions

Windstream, a Lexington local telephone provider, announced this week that it has completed acquisitions of Hosted Solutions, Kentucky Data Link and Norlight, all tailored to help the company expand its business and increase broadband revenues.

Windstream has aggressively pursued that type of revenue to offset the loss of sales associated with land lines. At the end of September, the company reported that it had 3.3 million land lines in 29 states, a drop of 3.7 percent compared to September 2009.

In that quarter, before the recent acquisitions were complete, the company's business service revenue was up $4 million year over year, to $419 million.

The company's acquisition of Hosted Solutions, a North Carolina company that specializes in data centers and managing online hosting and services for businesses, will mean the addition of 600 customers. Windstream paid $310 million cash for the company, which has 125 employees.

Kentucky Data Link and Norlight are subsidiaries of Q-Comm, which Windstream bought for $818 million. Windstream issued about 20.6 million shares valued at $273 million, paid $279 million in cash and repaid about $266 million of Q-Comm's outstanding debt as part of the deal.

Kentucky Data Link provides fiber-based communication and data services in 23 states and has 400 employees. Norlight serves 5,500 small and medium-size business customers, primarily in the Midwest, and has 200 employees.