RealTime IT News

Microsoft, Firms Pour $900 Million into Winstar

Winstar Communications Inc. Wednesday pulled in a massive $900 million round of financing from a group of investors led by Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft (MSFT) was joined by Credit Suisse First Boston Equity Partners, L.P.; Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe, VIII, L.P.; and Cascade Investments, among others, in the convertible stock investment. Winstar plans to use the funding to support its business plan and to expand its network.

The investors' shares will convert into common stock priced $67.50 per share. Several firm representatives will also join Winstar's board, including Lawrence B. Sorrel, a general partner of Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe, and Hartley R. Rogers, managing director and co-head of Credit Suisse First Boston Equity Partners, L.P.

Winstar's offers businesses packages of bundled communications services, including high-speed Net access and Web hosting, among other features.

The company holds broadband fixed wireless licenses in 60 U.S. and 10 overseas markets, as well as maintaining a domestic fiber network. Winstar plans to extend its network more than 16,000 miles in the U.S.

Last year, Winstar launched Office.com to target online services for small- to mid-sized businesses. In April, CBS took a 35 percent stake in office.com for $42 million, and will add it to its expanding site network.