Little Rock-based Windstream said it has received all regulatory approvals from state public service commissions required for its planned real estate investment trust (REIT) spinoff, which will be named Communications Sales & Leasing, Inc. (CS&L).
Windstream earlier received a favorable private letter ruling from the IRS relating to the transaction.
“Securing these regulatory approvals is an important milestone in our work and affirms the compelling benefits of the transaction to consumers and businesses,” said Windstream Director Francis X. “Skip” Frantz, who will serve as chairman of CS&L’s board. “The spinoff remains a strategic priority for Windstream and with the state regulatory approval process complete, we are focused on executing the final steps of the transaction.”
Frantz is leading the process to select a president and CEO of CS&L. Tony Thomas was slated to be the CEO, but was selected to take over as chief executive of Windstream when Jeff Gardner departed.
The transaction for the REIT is expected to close in the first half of 2015.
Windstream announced on July 29 plans to spin off certain telecommunications network assets into an independent publicly traded REIT. The move was planned to accelerate network investments and reduce corporate debt, the company said at the time.
Windstream will hold a special meeting of stockholders on Feb. 20 in conjunction with the REIT spinoff to approve a 1-for-6 reverse stock split and an amendment to the certificate of incorporation for Windstream Corporation, a subsidiary of Windstream Holdings, that will facilitate the conversion of Windstream Corporation into a limited liability company.