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Iowa Telecom bought for $1.1B

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Phone company Windstream of Little Rock, Ark., is buying Iowa Telecommunications Services of Newton, Iowa, for $1.1 billion in cash and stock.

Iowa Telecom is the parent company of En-Tel Communications, which provides services in Willmar, according to 2008 Tribune archives.

Windstream Corp. said Tuesday that its acquisition of Iowa Telecommunications Services Inc. will expand its operations into Iowa and Minnesota, adding about 256,000 phone lines, 95,000 high-speed Internet customers and 26,000 video subscribers. The deal is expected to close in mid-2010.

Windstream has been snapping up rural phone companies. Three weeks ago, Windstream said it would buy NuVox Inc. for $643 million. Its acquisition of D&E Communications Inc., announced in May, was approved by Pennsylvania regulators earlier this month.

Iowa Telecom shareholders will get 0.804 shares of Windstream stock and $7.90 in cash for each share they own.