Windstream Says Uniti Lease Deal Was Disguised Financing

By Vince Sullivan (July 25, 2019, 6:50 PM EDT) -- Bankrupt telecom service provider Windstream Holdings filed an adversary suit Thursday in New York bankruptcy court seeking to recharacterize a $650 million-per-year lease agreement with spinoff REIT Uniti Group Inc. as a disguised financing arrangement that siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars away from the debtor.

In the complaint, Windstream said the complex transaction it undertook in 2015 to spin off a large part of its copper wire and fiber optic network assets into a tax-immune real estate investment trust resulted in an unfair arrangement requiring the debtor to pay $650 million in rent obligation each year while the value of...

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