Windstream Corp. (WIN.N) has completed its previously-announced acquisition of NuVox Inc., a Greenville, S.C.-based CLEC. The deal is valued at $643 million, including $280 million in cash, $183 million in stock and the assumption of $180 million in debt. NuVox had raised nearly $500 million in venture capital funding, from firms that included M/C Venture Partners, KKR, Columbia Capital and Wachovia Capital Partners.
M/C Venture Partners today announced the closing of the sale of the firm’s portfolio company, NuVox, Inc., a privately-held competitive local exchange carrier based in Greenville, S.C., to Windstream Corporation (NYSE: WIN) in a transaction valued at approximately $643 million.
“NuVox’s strong track record of increasing margins and growing revenues has yielded an excellent liquidity event for its shareholders, even in the face of challenging economic conditions,” said Jim Wade, Managing General Partner at M/C. “We believe that, based on their mutual strong performance and the synergies between the two companies, Windstream’s acquisition of NuVox is the logical next chapter for the company and an important milestone in the CLEC industry.”
The story of NuVox, a provider of integrated communications and information technology solutions, illustrates M/C Venture Partners’ leading role in the telecommunications services sector. In 2003 M/C contributed to a recapitalization round of NewSouth Communications and assisted with the restructuring of the company’s debt and equity. NewSouth emerged from the financing well-positioned to take advantage of CLEC consolidation. M/C also recognized that the merger of NewSouth and NuVox made very good strategic sense, and helped catalyze the merger in 2004. NewSouth CEO Jim Akerhielm took the helm of the merged organization, with more than 40,000 business customers, 600,000 access lines and $300 million in sales. In 2007, the Orlando-based CLEC Florida Digital Network (FDN) was merged into NuVox. M/C had been the founding investor of FDN and as a result of the merger became NuVox’s largest shareholder.
“M/C has been instrumental in the growth of NuVox. From the early days, they played a very active role in the success of the merger of NewSouth and NuVox and then NuVox and FDN,” said NuVox CEO Jim Akerhielm. “And with their help, we have been able to evolve into one of the largest regional CLECs in the Southeast, with the ability to attract a strong and successful organization like Windstream.”
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About M/C Venture Partners
M/C Venture Partners is a venture capital firm focused exclusively on the communications, media, and information technology sectors. The firm has invested over $1.5 billion into nearly 100 companies in those sectors. Companies M/C has backed include Brooks Fiber, Fusepoint, ICG Communications, Lightower, MetroPCS, NuVox, Public Mobile, Seven Networks and Zayo Group. The firm has strong institutional backing from the nation’s leading pension funds and endowments as well as a long track record of success. M/C Venture Partners has offices in Boston, San Francisco and London. For more information, visit www.mcventurepartners.com.
NuVox delivers customized managed communications services, information technology, data, security, and voice solutions designed specifically for business customers. NuVox serves approximately 90,000 customers in the Southeast and Midwest, and provides select services throughout the United States. NuVox delivers services via its industry-leading MPLS-based wide area private IP network. NuVox has been certified by Cisco and is a member of the Cisco Powered Program for VoxNET, the company’s MPLS wide-area networking solution. In addition to retail solutions, NuVox also provides services to government and wholesale customers. For more information, visit www.nuvox.com.