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Zayo Group May Acquire, Reunite Windstream and Uniti: Report

Zayo Group may acquire and re-combine broadband network owner Uniti Group and managed communication services provider Windstream, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Zayo Group, owned by DigitalBridge Group and private equity firm EQT, is a bandwidth company that operates a 126,000-mile network in North America and Europe. The network offers metro connectivity to thousands of buildings and data centers. Key services include dark fiber, private data networks, wavelengths, Ethernet, dedicated Internet access and data center connectivity solutions.

Uniti and Windstream: Merging Under Zayo Ownership?

Uniti provides fiber and wireless solutions for the communications industry. The company owns approximately 123,000 fiber route miles, 7.1 million fiber strand miles, and other communications real estate throughout the United States. Uniti recently had about $5 billion of debt, according to The Journal.

Windstream offers managed communications services, including SD-WAN and UCaaS, and bandwidth and transport services to businesses across the U.S. The company also provides broadband, entertainment and security services through a fiber network to consumers and small and midsize businesses primarily in rural areas in 18 states. Windstream is owned by hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. and other former creditors, and has about $2 billion of net debt, The Journal notes.

Windstream's business has been particularly messy in recent years, amid multiple asset changes, a bankruptcy and channel churn.

Among the dates to watch: Uniti is expected to announce quarterly results on November 4, 2021.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.