Uniti Group, which operates fiber networks and wireless towers, is reportedly in talks to merge with telco provider Windstream.

That is according to Bloomberg, which said the duo are negotiating a stock-based transaction in which Uniti would remain publicly traded.

Mobile towers
– Thinkstock / Pedrosala

An agreement has yet been reached between the businesses, the Bloomberg report said. Representatives for Uniti and Windstream declined to comment.

Uniti, is a real estate investment trust based in Little Rock, Arkansas, owns fiber and wireless towers, with around 138,000 fiber route miles, and 8.3 million fiber strand miles.

Windstream, also based in Little Rock, provides broadband services in rural areas and is one of Uniti's biggest customers.

Uniti was previously part of Windstream before the two split in 2015 when they renegotiated their lease agreement.

Shares in Unity had fallen 12 percent to $5.10 each this year, giving the company a market value of about $1.2 billion.

Windstream exited from Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in 2020, after clearing more than $4 billion in debt.

Windfall's demise began in 2015, with the decision to spin off its fiber optic network assets into a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT).

It was then sued by its bondholders, who claimed the move violated the terms of their bonds. The bondholders won the case earlier in 2019, leaving Windstream unable to pay its dues without access to emergency funding.

In November 2022, Uniti sold 180 towers to CTI Towers.