Windstream (NASDAQ: WIN), which acquired EarthLink in February 2017 for $1.1 billion in stock (see “Windstream to acquire EarthLink for $1.1 billion”), has sold the EarthLink consumer internet business to Trive Capital. The Dallas-based private equity firm paid $330 million in cash for its new assets.
One of the biggest names in consumer internet access during the start of the online boom, EarthLink offers consumer internet access, online backup, managed web design, web hosting, and email services to more than 600,000 U.S. customers. However, the company also offered business services (see, for example, “EarthLink offers SD-WAN”) and operated a nationwide fiber-optic network. These latter operations appear now to have been the driver for Windstream’s acquisition of the company.
“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.
Trive manages more than $2 billion in capital and is focused on providing equity and debt capital to middle-market companies. “We are excited to partner with and support the EarthLink management team in continuing to provide great products and services available to millions of households in the United States,” added Trive Managing Partner Conner Searcy. “We intend to provide additional resources and access to deep industry relationships to help grow the brand in the coming years.”
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