Windstream unloads legacy EarthLink internet assets for $330M

Windstream has sold off its legacy EarthLink consumer internet business for $330 million in cash to private equity firm Trive Capital.

The deal, which was announced Monday, provides a cash infusion for Little Rock, Arkansas-based Windstream after it agreed in July to a $300 million debt exchange with its creditors.

Also in December, Windstream announced it had sold off fiber assets in Minnesota to Arvig Enterprises for $49.5 million in cash. Windstream entered into a definitive agreement to sell additional fiber assets in Nebraska to Arvig for $11 million in the first quarter of this year.

Windstream sold Trive its EarthLink consumer internet business, which includes internet access, online backup, managed web design, web hosting and various email services to more than 600,000 customers throughout the U.S.

Windstream forked out about $1.1 billion to buy EarthLink in 2017 to build out its fiber and business services assets across the nation. That deal also gave Windstream a bigger foothold in the SD-WAN market.

Prior to EarthLink, both companies were working on their respective SD-WAN services by using SD-WAN vendor VeloCloud, which was later purchased by VMware. Windstream also picked up more SD-WAN assets when it purchased CLEC MassComm late last year.

RELATED: Windstream acquires EarthLink for $1.1B, creates 145K fiber route mile network

Last year, Windstream Enterprise laid claim to having the most SD-WAN deployments in the U.S. by a service provider.

Windstream is primarily focused on providing data networking, core transport, security, unified communications and managed services to mid-market, enterprise and wholesale customers across the U.S. It also offers broadband, entertainment and security services for consumers and small and medium-sized businesses primarily in rural areas in 18 states.

Back in the day, EarthLink was one of the premier dial-up internet service providers, but Windstream has decided to move on from providing monthly internet access services to residential customers.

“This transaction enables us to divest a non-core segment and focus exclusively on our two largest business units. In addition, it improves our credit profile and metrics in 2019 and beyond,” said Tony Thomas, president and CEO of Windstream, in a statement.