Windstream secures plan support agreement with creditors; Reaches settlement with Uniti Group over head lease

SMALL ROCK, Ark.–()–Windstream today announced that it has entered into a Plan Support Agreement (the “PSA”) with its senior creditors regarding the principal terms of a comprehensive financial restructuring. The company also announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with Uniti Group Inc. to resolve the ongoing litigation between the two companies.

The PSA provides, among other things: (1) a substantial reduction in the company’s existing funded debt of over $4 billion, (2) a substantial reduction in the company’s annual debt service obligations, and ( 3) access to exit funding to allow Windstream to pursue its strategic objectives after the Chapter 11 exit.

“We are pleased to have reached agreement with creditors on the terms of a comprehensive financial restructuring that will significantly reduce our debt and strengthen our long-term competitive position,” said Tony Thomas, President and CEO of Windstream. . “This agreement demonstrates our creditors’ confidence in our business plan and will allow Windstream to complete the financial restructuring process on an accelerated basis.”

Windstream plans to file its Chapter 11 reorganization plan, along with its proposed new capital structure, with the court for approval as soon as possible with a target of by the end of March. The company expects to emerge from the restructuring mid-year, subject to the timing of court and regulatory approvals.

“Our new capital structure will enable continued innovation in business-critical offerings such as SD-WAN and UCaaS, drive the deployment of online solutions, and strengthen our ability to deliver an incredible customer experience supported by a superior digital platform. “, says Thomas. “In addition, our new strategic partnership with Uniti will allow us to expand 1 Gig fiber-based internet service to more than half of our Kinetic broadband footprint over the next few years.”

As part of Uniti’s settlement agreement, Uniti agreed to invest up to $1.75 billion in network investments for Windstream through 2030. Uniti also agreed to pay Windstream approximately $490 million and to purchase certain idle and underutilized fiber assets from Windstream for an additional $285. million, which currently generates approximately $29 million in annual OIBDAR.

Copies of the PSA and Uniti Settlement Agreement may be obtained free of charge by visiting the Kurtzman Carson Consultants LLC website at http://www.kccllc.net/windstream.

Windstream voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on February 25, 2019. Windstream continues to operate as normal during the financial restructuring process.

About Windstream

Windstream Holdings, Inc., a FORTUNE 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications and technology solutions. Windstream provides data networking, core transport, security, unified communications and managed services to midsize, enterprise and wholesale customers across the United States. The company also provides broadband, entertainment and security services for consumers and small and medium businesses, primarily in rural areas. in 18 states. Services are delivered over multiple network platforms, including a nationwide IP network, our proprietary cloud-based architecture, and local and long-haul fiber network spanning approximately 150,000 miles. Additional information is available at windstream.com Where windstreamenterprise.com. Please visit our press room at news.windstream.com or follow us on Twitter at @Windstream.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that we expect to occur or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on certain assumptions based on the opinions, estimates and beliefs of management at the time such statements relate to future events and results. When used in this release, words such as “will”, “potential”, “believe”, “estimate”, “intend”, “expect”, “may”, “should “, “anticipate”, “could”, “plan”, “predict”, “strategy”, “future” or their negatives or other words which convey uncertainty of future events or results, are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such identifying words. Forward-looking statements involve uncertainties and are subject to numerous risks and variables. Actual future events may differ materially from those expressed in such statements. forward-looking due to a number of factors related to our Chapter 11 cases, which are set forth in our risk factors described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and First Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed in 2019 available at the SEC website at www.sec.gov. Although we believe that our forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that these assumptions are correct or that any of these expectations will (in part or in whole) materialize or prove to be correct. In light of the foregoing, the events anticipated by our forward-looking statements may not occur and, if any of these events occur, we may not have correctly anticipated the timing or extent of their impact. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date such statement is made, and we undertake no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, events future or otherwise, except as required by applicable law. These cautionary statements qualify all forward-looking statements attributable to us or to persons acting on our behalf.

Rosemary S. Bishop