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Windstream, EarthLink Discuss Potential Merger

Windstream Holdings (WIN) and EarthLink Holdings (ELNK) are discussing a potential all-stock merger, according to Reuters. The two companies, which offer a blend of consumer and business network services, had a combined market cap of roughly $1.2 billon as of yesterday.

Update Nov. 7, 2016: Windstream confirms $1.1 billion EarthLink buyout. Key opportunity: SD-WAN Enterprise Services.

Both Windstream and EarthLink have considerable experience in the data center and managed services provider (MSP) markets, but their businesses have been evolving dramatically.

Windstream in 2015 sold its data center business to TierPoint for $575 million. Somewhat similarly, EarthLink sold its managed IT services business to Synoptek for $29 million in February 2016.

More recently, Windstream has focused on cloud, network and managed services along with unified communications as a service for business. EarthLink, meanwhile, now focuses on voice, security and data services.

A potential Windstream-EarthLink business combination would “seek cost savings by combining their communications networks and infrastructure,” Reuters reported. Windstream declined to comment on the Reuters report while EarthLink didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

For complete merger and acquisition coverage involving VARs, MSPs and CSPs visit the ChannelE2E Milestones section.

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