DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) announced Monday that it has made a $25.5 billion offer to acquire Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). The bid is aimed at trashing the acquisition of Sprint by Japan’s SoftBank Corp (TYO:9984) (PINK:SFTBF). The Japanese telecommunications company had agreed to acquire 70 percent stake in Sprint Nextel for about $20 billion.
DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) had earlier asked the Federal Communications Commission to slow the SoftBank-Sprint Nextel merger review process. Calling the proposed merger between SoftBank Corp (TYO:9984) (PINK:SFTBF) and Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) “unripe for consideration”, Dish Network argued that if the merger falls through, Sprint wouldn’t be able to acquire Clearwire Corp. Sprint is likely to use the money from the $20 billion SoftBank merger to acquire the remaining stake in Clearwire Corp that it doesn’t already own.
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In the cash-and-stock bid, DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) is offering $4.76 in cash and $0.05953 of its own shares per Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) share, which is 13 percent higher than SoftBank’s bid. The bid values Sprint at $7 per share, a 12.5 percent premium over its closing price on Friday.
DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) chairman Charles W. Ergen said that their proposal gives Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) shareholders a superior alternative to the SoftBank Corp (TYO:9984) (PINK:SFTBF) proposal. He said the merger of Sprint with Dish Network will create a company that can offer customers a fully-integrated and convenient bundle of broadband, video and voice services.
It is one of the several ongoing attempts of mergers and acquisition in the telecom industry as companies across the world plan to expand their operations through inorganic ways. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) are also reportedly in talks to acquire the British telecom giant Vodafone Group PLC (LON:VOD) (NASDAQ:VOD).
DISH Network said in a statement that it plans to combine Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s cellphone operations with its own TV and broadband offerings. The newly formed company will be able to compete directly with giants like Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) that are planning to expand into other areas to boost their revenues.
Sprint has about 56 million customers in the United States, but the company is finding it tough to compete with bigger rivals. It will face an even bigger challenge after the completion of the proposed merger between MetroPCS Communications Inc (NYSE:PCS) and T-Mobile USA.
Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) shares were up 16.08 percent to $7.22 in early market trading.