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Windstream Corp.

Windstream Corp. formed in July 2006 when Little Rock's Alltel Corp. spun-off its wireline sector and merged it with Valor Communications Group Inc. of Irving, Texas. Out of that $9.1 billion transaction rose Arkansas' youngest public company and the biggest rural exchange carrier in the country.

An S&P 500 firm, Windstream provides advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas. While local and long-distance voice services have been the company's largest business segments, Windstream CEO Jeffrey Gardner says the company is focused on growth in its broadband and entertainment services.

Windstream nearly doubled its market presence in North Carolina with the $485 million acquisition of CT Communications Inc. of Concord, N.C. in May 2007. But its biggest deal took place 2011, when it acquired Paetec Holding Corp. of Fairport, N.Y., in a $2.3 billion merger designed to expand its fast-growing broadband business.

The move expanded Windstream's presence from 29 to 46 states and the District of Columbia. Windstream, which had 10,000 employees nationwide before the merger, took on a an additional 5,000 workers after the deal. The merger also boosted Windstream's nationwide fiber route miles to 100,000 from 60,000.

Windstream now offers data center services across the United States, enjoying improved capability to serve multi-location business customers.

Based in Little Rock, Windstream employs 1,500 in Arkansas. As of fiscal 2011, annual revenue was about $4.3 billion.

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