Windstream and EarthLink to merge in $1.1 billion deal

Windstream Holdings Inc. announced it will buy EarthLink Holdings Corp., its competitor in the telecommunications industry, in a $1.1 billion deal.

The companies will merge in an attempt to cut costs and be more competitive, a statement from both companies said Monday. Both have seen reduced revenue in the past three years.

Windstream, headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., specializes in telephone and Internet services to rural markets; Atlanta-based EarthLink was an innovator in Internet dial-up service in the 1990s. The companies said they expect to generate over $125 million in cost reductions and synergies after the merger.

EarthLink stockholders will receive 0.818 shares of Windstream for each share they own. The company will retain the Windstream name.

The Windstream statement said the combined company “will have increased scale and scope giving it the ability to leverage best practices across a broader platform, and offer customers expanded products, services and enhanced enterprise solutions.”