In this report, Windstream Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiaries are referred to as “Windstream”, “we”, or the “Company”. On July 17, 2006, Alltel Corporation, which has subsequently merged with Verizon Communications Inc. (“Alltel”), completed the spin off of its wireline telecommunications division and immediately merged with and into Valor Communications Group, Inc. (“Valor”), with Valor continuing as the surviving corporation. The resulting company was renamed Windstream Corporation. Windstream is a corporation organized under the laws of the state of Delaware, and it was organized under the name Valor Communications Group, Inc. in 2004. For all periods prior to the merger with Valor described herein, references to the Company include Alltel Holding Corp. or the wireline telecommunications division and related businesses of Alltel.
Windstream is a customer-focused telecommunications company that provides phone, high-speed Internet and digital television services. The Company also offers a wide range of IP-based voice and data services and advanced phone systems and equipment to businesses and government agencies. As of December 31, 2009, the Company provided service to approximately 3.0 million access lines and 1.1 million high-speed Internet customers primarily located in rural areas in 16 states.
FORMATION OF WINDSTREAM
On July 17, 2006, Alltel completed the spin off of its wireline telecommunications division, Alltel Holding Corp. Pursuant to the spin off, Alltel contributed all of its wireline assets to the Company in exchange for: (i) newly issued Company common stock, (ii) the payment of a special dividend to Alltel in the amount of $2.3 billion and (iii) the distribution by the Company to Alltel of certain debt securities (the “Contribution”). In connection with the Contribution, the Company assumed approximately $261.0 million of long-term debt that had been issued by the Company’s wireline subsidiaries. Following the Contribution, Alltel distributed 100 percent of the common shares of the Company to its shareholders as a tax-free dividend.
Immediately after the consummation of the spin off, Alltel Holding Corp. merged with and into Valor, with Valor continuing as the surviving corporation. The merger was accounted for using the purchase method of accounting for business combinations, in accordance with authoritative guidance, with Alltel Holding Corp. serving as the accounting acquirer. The accompanying consolidated financial statements reflect the combined operations of Alltel Holding Corp. and Valor following the spin off and merger transactions on July 17, 2006. Results of operations prior to the merger and for all historical periods presented are for Alltel Holding Corp. The resulting company was renamed Windstream Corporation. As a result of the merger, all of the issued and outstanding shares of the Company’s common stock were converted into the right to receive an aggregate number of shares of common stock of Valor. Valor issued in the aggregate approximately 403 million shares of its common stock to Alltel shareholders pursuant to the merger, or 1.0339267 shares of Valor common stock for each share of the Company’s common stock outstanding as of the effective date of the merger. Upon completion of the merger, Alltel’s stockholders owned approximately 85 percent of the outstanding equity interests of the surviving corporation, Windstream, and the stockholders of Valor owned the remaining approximately 15 percent of such equity interests. In addition, Windstream assumed Valor debt valued at $1,195.6 million.
MATERIAL ACQUISITIONS COMPLETED DURING THE LAST FIVE YEARS
On February 8, 2010, we completed our previously announced acquisition of NuVox, Inc. (“NuVox”), a competitive local exchange carrier based in Greenville, South Carolina. Consistent with the Company’s focus on growing revenues from business customers, the completion of the NuVox acquisition added approximately 90,000 business customer locations in 16 contiguous Southwestern and Midwest states and provides opportunities for significant operating efficiencies with contiguous Windstream markets. NuVox’s services include voice over internet protocol, local and long-distance voice, broadband internet access, email, voicemail, web hosting, secure electronic data storage and backup, internet security and virtual private networks. Many of these services are delivered over a secure, privately-managed IP network, using a multiprotocol label switch backbone and distributed IP voice switching architecture.
In accordance with the NuVox merger agreement, Windstream acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of NuVox for $199.0 million in cash, net of cash acquired, and issued approximately 18.7 million shares of Windstream common stock valued at $187.0 million on the date of issuance. Windstream also repaid outstanding indebtedness and related liabilities on existing swap agreements of NuVox approximating $281.0 million.
On December 1, 2009, we closed our previously announced acquisition of Lexcom, Inc. (“Lexcom”), which resulted in the addition of approximately 22,000 access lines, 9,000 high-speed Internet customers and 12,000 cable television customers in North Carolina. This acquisition increased Windstream’s presence in North Carolina and provides the opportunity for operating synergies with contiguous Windstream markets. In accordance with the Lexcom merger agreement, Windstream acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of Lexcom common stock for approximately $138.7 million in cash, net of cash acquired.
On November 10, 2009, we closed our previously announced merger with D&E Communications, Inc. (“D&E”), which resulted in the addition of approximately 110,000 incumbent local exchange carrier (“ILEC”) access lines, 35,000 competitive local exchange carrier (“CLEC”) access lines, 45,000 high-speed Internet customers and 9,000 cable television customers. This acquisition increased Windstream’s presence in Pennsylvania and provides the opportunity for operating synergies with contiguous Windstream markets. Pursuant to the merger agreement, Windstream acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of D&E, and D&E merged with and into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Windstream.
In accordance with the D&E merger agreement, D&E shareholders received 0.650 shares of Windstream common stock and $5.00 in cash per each share of D&E Common Stock. Windstream issued approximately 9.4 million shares of its common stock valued at approximately $94.6 million, based on Windstream’s closing stock price of $10.06 on November 9, 2009, and paid approximately $56.6 million, net of cash acquired, as part of the transaction. Windstream also repaid outstanding debt of D&E Communications totaling $182.4 million.
On August 31, 2007, Windstream completed the acquisition of CT Communications, Inc. (“CTC”) in a transaction valued at $584.3 million. Under the terms of the agreement the shareholders of CTC received $31.50 in cash for each of their shares with a total cash payout of $652.2 million. The transaction value also includes a payment of $37.5 million made by Windstream to satisfy CTC’s debt obligations, offset by $105.4 million in cash and short-term investments held by CTC. Including $25.3 million in severance and other transaction-related expenses, the total cost of the acquisition was $609.6 million. Windstream financed the transaction using the cash acquired from CTC, $250.0 million in borrowings available under its revolving line of credit, and additional cash on hand. The premium paid by Windstream in this transaction is attributable to the strategic importance of the CTC acquisition. The acquisition of CTC significantly increased Windstream’s operating presence in North Carolina through the addition of approximately 132,000 access lines and 31,000 high-speed Internet customers and provided the opportunity to generate significant operating efficiencies with contiguous Windstream markets.
As previously discussed, on July 17, 2006, Alltel Holding Corp. merged with and into Valor, with Alltel Holding Corp. serving as the accounting acquirer. Through this transaction, Windstream added approximately 500,000 customers in complementary markets with favorable rural characteristics making the Company one of the largest local telecommunications carriers in the United States.
On November 23, 2009, we entered into an agreement and plan of merger pursuant to which we will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Iowa Telecommunications Services, Inc. (“Iowa Telecom”). Under the terms of the merger agreement, Iowa Telecom shareholders will receive 0.804 shares of common stock of Windstream and $7.90 in cash per each share of Iowa Telecom common stock. We expect to issue approximately 26.5 million shares of Windstream common stock and pay approximately $261.0 million in cash as part of the transaction. We also will repay estimated net debt of approximately $598.0 million. This acquisition is expected to close in mid-2010 and is subject to certain conditions, including receipt of necessary approvals from federal and state regulators and Iowa Telecom shareholders. As of September 30, 2009, Iowa Telecom provided services to approximately 256,000 access lines, 95,000 high-speed Internet customers and 26,000 digital television customers in Iowa and Minnesota.
MATERIAL DISPOSITIONS COMPLETED DURING THE LAST FIVE YEARS
On November 21, 2008, Windstream completed the sale of its wireless business to AT&T Mobility II, LLC for approximately $56.7 million. The completion of this transaction resulted in the divestiture of approximately 52,000 wireless customers, spectrum licenses and cell sites covering a four-county area of North Carolina with a population of approximately 450,000 and six retail locations. The operating results of the wireless business have been separately presented as discontinued operations in the accompanying consolidated statements of income.
On November 30, 2007, Windstream completed the split off of its directory publishing business (the “publishing business”) in a tax-free transaction with entities affiliated with Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (“WCAS”), a private equity investment firm and Windstream shareholder.
To facilitate the split off transaction, Windstream contributed the publishing business to a newly formed subsidiary (“Holdings”). Holdings paid a special cash dividend to Windstream in an amount of $40.0 million, issued additional shares of Holdings common stock to Windstream, and distributed to Windstream certain debt securities of Holdings having an aggregate principal amount of $210.5 million. Windstream exchanged the Holdings debt securities for outstanding Windstream debt securities with an equivalent fair market value, and then retired those securities. Windstream used the proceeds of the special dividend to repurchase approximately three million shares of Windstream common stock during the fourth quarter of 2007. Windstream exchanged all of the outstanding equity of Holdings (the “Holdings Shares”) for an aggregate of 19,574,422 shares of Windstream common stock (the “Exchanged WIN Shares”) owned by WCAS, which were then retired. Based on the price of Windstream common stock of $12.95 at November 30, 2007, the Exchanged WIN Shares had a value of $253.5 million. The total value of the transaction was $506.7 million, including an adjustment for net working capital of approximately $2.7 million. As a result of completing this transaction, Windstream recorded a gain on the sale of its publishing business of $451.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 after substantially all performance obligations had been fulfilled.
In connection with the consummation of the transactions, the parties and their affiliates entered into a publishing agreement whereby Windstream granted Local Insight Yellow Pages, Inc. (“Local Insight Yellow Pages”), the successor to the Windstream subsidiary that operated the publishing business, an exclusive license to publish Windstream directories in each of its markets other than the acquired CTC markets. Local Insight Yellow Pages will, at no charge to Windstream or its affiliates or subscribers, publish directories with respect to each Windstream service area covered under the agreement in which Windstream or its affiliates are required to publish such directories by applicable law, tariff or contract. Subject to the termination provisions in the agreement, the publishing agreement will remain in effect for a term of fifty years. As part of this agreement, Windstream agreed to forego future royalty payments from Local Insight Yellow Pages on advertising revenues generated from covered directories for the duration of the publishing agreement.
The Company’s staff at its headquarters and regional offices supervise, coordinate and assist subsidiaries in management activities including investor relations, acquisitions and dispositions, corporate planning, tax planning, cash and debt management, insurance, sales and marketing support, government affairs, legal matters, human resources and engineering services.
At December 31, 2009, Windstream had 7,385 employees. Within Windstream’s work force, approximately 1,693 employees are part of collective bargaining units. During 2009, Windstream had no material work stoppages due to labor disputes with its unionized employees (see “Risk Factors”).