Stock Watch: EarthLink Deal Boosts

Internet service provider (Nasdaq: ONEM) rose 3 5/16 to 11 5/16 Thursday after agreeing to be acquired by EarthLink, Inc. for cash and stock valued at $308 million, or $12.27 per share.

EarthLink will issue about $150 million in cash and about 8.8 million common shares for the Reston, Virginia-based EarthLink, which slipped 3/8 to 17 9/16, said the acquisition will give it more than 4.2 million members, and expands its coverage into smaller cities and rural areas, where has focused its operations.

“The acquisition of strategically positions EarthLink to capture market share in one of the fastest-growing segments in the ISP marketplace — rural America and smaller cities,” said EarthLink Chief Executive Officer Garry Betty.

EarthLink also said directors authorized the repurchase of up to five million common shares.

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