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EarthLink Announces Acquisition of Boston Retail Partners to Expand Its Technology Consulting Offering for Retailers

ATLANTA, July 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- EarthLink Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:ELNK), a leading network services provider dedicated to delivering great customer experiences, today announced it has acquired Boston Retail Partners, LLC (“BRP”), a highly regarded management consulting firm focused on the retail vertical. BRP’s experienced consultants work with leading retailers to deliver strategic solutions that address the business and technology challenges unique to the industry.

BRP provides technology strategy and consulting across the full breadth of retail solutions, including point of sale, e-commerce, customer relationship management, mobile, payment security, enterprise resource planning, order management and supply chain. Together, EarthLink and BRP will extend EarthLink’s capabilities in the retail sector to provide clients with deep expertise and end-to-end technology solutions that address the entire retail organization and improve customer engagement and loyalty. The transaction is part of EarthLink’s ongoing strategy to provide deep vertical expertise to its clients and to strategically expand its consulting portfolio with end-to-end solutions to best serve client needs.

“Retailers today often struggle with leveraging technology to create the retail experience of the future, including the shift to cloud-based solutions, the rapid rise of mobile, increasing bandwidth requirements and the prevalence of legacy systems. Many large retailers have relied on BRPs’ expertise and talented people to navigate these challenges,” said Joe Eazor, Chief Executive Officer and President of EarthLink. “We are excited to bring together our deep network expertise with BRPs’ proven track record of success in order to enhance our already strong presence in this space.”

“Customers expect a consistent, personalized and satisfying shopping experience wherever, whenever and however they shop, and retailers need a robust, fast, reliable, resilient network infrastructure to enable this real-time retail experience,” said Ken Morris, Principal, BRP. “Delivering on that experience requires a different approach that sets the stage for unified commerce. According to our recent Customer Experience Survey, 75% of retailers indicated they have implemented or plan to implement a single, unified commerce platform within the next three years. Leveraging EarthLink’s network services and solutions with BRP’s retail expertise enhances our ability to help retailers successfully implement comprehensive unified commerce solutions that enable real-time retail.”

Headquartered in Boston, BRP has 40 nationwide employees.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About EarthLink
EarthLink (EarthLink Holdings Corp., NASDAQ: ELNK) is a leading network services provider dedicated to delivering great customer experiences in a cloud connected world. We help thousands of multi-location businesses securely establish critical connections in the cloud. Our solutions for cloud and hybrid networking, security and compliance, and unified communications provide the cost-effective performance and agility to serve customers anytime, anywhere, via any channel, or any device. We operate a nationwide network spanning 29,000+ fiber route miles, with 90 metro fiber rings and secure data centers that provide ubiquitous data and voice IP coverage. To learn why thousands of specialty retailers, restaurants, franchisors, financial institutions, healthcare providers, professional service firms, local governments, residential consumers and other carriers choose to connect with us, visit us at www.earthlink.com, @earthlink, on LinkedIn and Google+.

About Boston Retail Partners, LLC
Boston Retail Partners, LLC was founded in 2009 by retail industry-recognized thought leaders. BRP is an innovative and independent retail management consulting firm dedicated to providing superior service and enduring value to its clients. BRP combines its consultants' deep retail business knowledge and cross-functional capabilities to deliver superior design and implementation of strategy, technology and process solutions. The company focuses exclusively on the retail industry and consults in three key areas: IT strategy, vendor selection and project implementation. BRP’s consulting services include:

Strategy | Business Intelligence | Business Process Optimization | Point of Sale (POS)
Mobile POS | Payment Security | E-Commerce | Store Systems and Operations | CRM
Unified Commerce | Customer Experience & Engagement | Order Management
Merchandise Management | Supply Chain | Information Technology

The company is a recognized thought leader in the retail sector and continually takes the pulse of the industry through benchmark surveys including the industry-leading annual POS/Customer Engagement Survey they have published for 17 years. In addition, the company publishes benchmark surveys on Customer Experience/Unified Commerce, E-Commerce and Merchandise Planning. For more information, visit www.bostonretailpartners.com.

Cautionary Information Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes “forward-looking” statements (rather than historical facts) that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described. Although we believe that the expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot promise that our expectations will turn out to be correct. Our actual results could be materially different from and worse than our expectations. With respect to such forward-looking statements, we seek the protections afforded by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These risks include, without limitation: (1) that we may not be able to execute our strategy to successfully transition to a leading managed network, security and cloud services provider, which could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows; (2) that we may not be able to increase revenues from our growth products and services to offset declining revenues from our traditional products and services, which could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows; (3) that if we are unable to adapt to changes in technology and customer demands, we may not remain competitive, and our revenues and operating results could suffer; (4) that failure to achieve operating efficiencies and otherwise reduce costs would adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows; (5) that we may have to undertake further restructuring plans that would require additional charges; (6) that we may be unable to successfully divest non-strategic products, which could adversely affect our results of operations; (7) that acquisitions we complete could result in operating difficulties, dilution, increased liabilities, diversion of management attention and other adverse consequences, which could adversely affect our results of operations; (8) that we face significant competition in our business markets, which could adversely affect our results of operations; (9) that failure to retain existing customers could adversely affect our results of operations and cash flows; (10) that decisions by legislative or regulatory authorities, including the Federal Communications Commission, relieving incumbent carriers of certain regulatory requirements, and possible further deregulation in the future, may restrict our ability to provide services and may increase the costs we incur to provide these services; (11) that if we are unable to interconnect with AT&T, Verizon and other incumbent carriers on acceptable terms, our ability to offer competitively priced local telephone services will be adversely affected; (12) that the continued decline in switched access and reciprocal compensation revenue will adversely affect our results of operations; (13) that failure to obtain and maintain necessary permits and rights-of-way could interfere with our network infrastructure and operations; (14) that if our larger carrier customers terminate the service they receive from us, our wholesale revenue and results of operations could be adversely affected; (15) that we obtain a majority of our network equipment and software from a limited number of third-party suppliers; (16) that work stoppages experienced by other communications companies on whom we rely for service could adversely impact our ability to provision and service our customers; (17) that our commercial and alliance arrangements may not be renewed or may not generate expected benefits, which could adversely affect our results of operations; (18) that our consumer business is dependent on the availability of third-party network service providers; (19) that we face significant competition in the Internet access industry that could reduce our profitability; (20) that the continued decline of our consumer access subscribers will adversely affect our results of operations; (21) that lack of regulation governing wholesale Internet service providers could adversely affect our operations; (22) that cyber security breaches could harm our business; (23) that privacy concerns relating to our business could damage our reputation and deter current and potential users from using our services; (24) that interruption or failure of our network, information systems or other technologies could impair our ability to provide our services, which could damage our reputation and harm our operating results; (25) that our business depends on effective business support systems and processes; (26) that if we, or other industry participants, are unable to successfully defend against disputes or legal actions, we could face substantial liabilities or suffer harm to our financial and operational prospects; (27) that we may be accused of infringing upon the intellectual property rights of third parties, which is costly to defend and could limit our ability to use certain technologies in the future; (28) that we may not be able to protect our intellectual property; (29) that we may be unable to hire and retain sufficient qualified personnel, and the loss of any of our key executive officers could adversely affect us; (30) that unfavorable general economic conditions could harm our business; (31) that government regulations could adversely affect our business or force us to change our business practices; (32) that our business may suffer if third parties are unable to provide services or terminate their relationships with us; (33) that we may be required to recognize impairment charges on our goodwill and other intangible assets, which would adversely affect our results of operations and financial position; (34) that we may have exposure to greater than anticipated tax liabilities and we may be limited in the use of our net operating losses and certain other tax attributes in the future; (35) that our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial health and limit our ability to react to changes in our business and industry; (36) that we may require substantial capital to support business growth, and this capital may not be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all; (37) that our debt agreements include restrictive covenants, and failure to comply with these covenants could trigger acceleration of payment of outstanding indebtedness; (38) that we may reduce, or cease payment of, quarterly cash dividends; (39) that our stock price may be volatile; (40) that provisions of our certificate of incorporation, bylaws and other elements of our capital structure could limit our share price and delay a change of control of the company; and (41) that our bylaws designate the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware as the sole and exclusive forum for certain types of actions and proceedings that may be initiated by our stockholders, which could limit our stockholders’ flexibility in obtaining a judicial forum for disputes with us or our directors, officers or employees. These risks and uncertainties, as well as other risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ significantly from management’s expectations, are not intended to represent a complete list of all risks and uncertainties inherent in our business, and should be read in conjunction with the more detailed cautionary statements and risk factors included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2016.

Investors Trey Huffman 404-748-6219 678-571-1367 (mobile) huffmanal@elnk.com Media Randi Drinkwater 404-709-3404 404-218-5202 (mobile) randi.drinkwater@elnk.com

Source:EarthLink Holdings Corp.