Softbank Slams Dish Offer For Sprint Nextel

Softbank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) president and CEO today criticized the rival offer from DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) for Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). Masayoshi Son said that Dish’s unsolicited $25.5 billion offer is incomplete and illusory. Son dismissed the idea of raising his $20.1 billion bid for a 70% stake in Sprint Nextel Corporation, and said his plans would provide Sprint shareholders better value.

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DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) wanted to combine its satellite TV business with Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s wireless network to provide customers video services anywhere, anytime. Though Softbank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984)’s bid values Sprint Nextel Corporation at $6.22 per share, Masayoshi Son calculated that his offer is actually $7.65 or 21 percent higher than DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH)’s bid. Son’s calculations factored in breakup fees, regulatory delays, transaction costs and synergy effects. Dish’s $25.5 billion offer Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) at $7 per share.

In fact, Mr. Son pointed out 11 ways that show why his offer is superior. He said DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) plans to partially fund the deal by loading Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s balance sheet with debts. And the combined firm will have a gross debt in excess of $50 billion. That’s an “insane” figure, said Mr. Son. Dish’s merger will take over a year to complete, compared to Softbank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984)’s closing target of July 1. Taking a dig at DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) chairman Charlie Ergen, Son added that DISH Network Corp has absolutely no industry experience and does not have the level of relationships that Softbank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) has built. SoftBank has developed strong relationships with Intel Corp. and Google Inc., while Dish is involved in several “ugly” litigation battles.

Son’s comments come after Softbank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) reported a record $7.59 billion profit in the last financial year ending March 31. Son estimates profits to rise this year to $8-$9 billion. Earlier, DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) said that it can easily receive regulatory approvals as it’s a domestic company. But Softbank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) CEO said that U.S. regulatory officials have indicated that the process is going very smoothly.

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) shareholders are set to vote on the proposed deal of Softbank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) on June 12. SoftBank Corp may find it hard to win backing of institutional shareholders of Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). Billionaire John Paulson, the fourth largest shareholder of Sprint, said he finds the DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) offer compelling.

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) shares were up 0.28% to $7.14, DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) shares were almost flat at $40.55 at 9:51 AM EDT.