SoftBank Increases Sprint Nextel Offer To $21.6B

By Mani
Updated on

SoftBank Corp (USA) (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) agreed to enhance its offer for Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)  by 7.5 percent to $21.6 billion to counter Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH)’s unsolicited proposal of $25.5 billion.

 SoftBank Increases Sprint Nextel Offer To $21.6B

Japan’s SoftBank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984)  will pay $16.6 billion to Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s shareholders and infuse $5 billion of new capital for a 78 percent stake. The revised deal would facilitate shareholders get more money while Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) gets less cash.

The Tokyo-based mobile-phone carrier has sweetened its offer with $7.48 a share of Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), against $6.30 a share proposed earlier.

SoftBank Corp’s October Offer:

SoftBank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984)’s October offer involved $20.1 billion for a 70 percent stake.

The Tokyo-based mobile-phone carrier’s improved offer also got support from hedge fund Paulson & Co, the second largest Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) shareholder.

SoftBank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984)’s proposal also got a boost earlier this month when the biggest shareholder advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. recommended the mobile-phone carrier’s merger proposal. The advisory firm in its note felt the deal would supply Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) with the cash it needs to upgrade its network and compete with larger carriers.

However the shareholder advisory firm indicated that it couldn’t determine whether Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH)’s offer was superior because it hasn’t been presented to investors.

Sprint’s Board Approval:

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s board of directors also unanimously approved the Tokyo-based mobile phone carrier’s improved offer. The third-largest U.S. wireless carrier indicated that Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH)’s proposal is not actionable and not reasonably likely to a superior offer.

The revised deal with Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) offers Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) a June 18 deadline to submitting a best and final offer.

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s shareholder meeting has been postponed to June 25, from the originally scheduled June 12.

Earlier the merger between SoftBank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) and Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) got approval from The Committee of Foreign Investment in the U.S (CFIUS).

Rating agencies Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service put the Tokyo-based mobile phone carrier under review for possible downgrade in October. The rating agencies expressed their concern that SoftBank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984)’s acquisition of Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) might  undermine the phone carrier’s financial strength. The rating downgrade would bring SoftBank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984)’s rating to a speculative or junk ranking at Moody’s.

SoftBank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984)’s founder Masayoshi Son raised the offer after his ambition to expand Japan’s third-largest mobile carrier in the U.S. was threatened by Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) Chairman Charlie Ergen.

The second-tier U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) has been languishing for several years. However potential investors have now discovered that U.S. consumers are showing increasing interest to spend for wireless connectivity, despite curbing their expenses on other areas.

Besides Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) offers further potential with about 50 percent stake in Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR), which controls a huge cache of spectrum needed to carry the growing volume of data traffic.

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