Sprint Nextel Corporation (S) In Search Of More Spectrum Deals

Sprint Nextel Corporation (S) In Search Of More Spectrum Deals
By Sprint Nextel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s CEO, Dan Hesse, said that he is on a heated search for more spectrum deals. Hesse argues that the need for Sprint to catch up with bigger competitors AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is eminent.

He notes that the two have devoured the mobile’s industry’s most valued resource at a hastened pace.

Sprint Nextel Corporation (S) In Search Of More Spectrum Deals

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Hesse’s overt appetite for a deal is also driven by the impending cash infusion that will succeed the closing of the Softbank Corp (PINK:SFTBF) deal. As we had earlier reported, the October deal is expected to net Sprint $20 billion.

Going by the agreements in the deal, Hesse’s company explicitly signed off on $2.6 billion in purchases. Most of this will be used in the effort to gain control of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR), a company with a sizeable spectrum portfolio. In line with what we have recurrently reported, Sprint’s interest in Clearwire has continued trending upward over the past few months.

However, Hesse reveals that the desire for deals stretches way beyond Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR), suggesting that a good amount of the cash inflow from the Softbank Corp (PINK:SFTBF) deal will be used to grease further acquisitions and mergers.

“Clearwire would give us a strong spectrum position for a period of time. But we also have a very long-term view, and we would want to acquire more spectrum,” remarked Hesse in an interview earlier in the month.

Phil Marshall, the chief research officer at Tolaga research, argues that Sprint’s options may span across smaller carriers like Leap Wireless International Inc and U.S. Cellular Corp.

In the past fiscal year, Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) has spent a paltry amount – almost nothing – with regards to spectrum deals. Bigger competitors AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) have on the other hand spent a cumulative figure of more than $5 billion on the same.

The need to shrink this evidently huge gap is bigger now more than ever. This is especially after considering the fact that the Federal Communications Commission is running low on new frequencies that it can offer for sale.

Deals depend on regulatory review

Given the current situation, Hesse’s bulging appetite for acquisitions is anchored on his ability to curtail the Softbank Corp (PINK:SFTBF) deal. At the closing of this deal, Softbank is expected to supply Sprint with $8 billion in capital, most of which will be used to grease Sprint’s acquisition prospects.

Nonetheless, the Softbank deal is still under regulatory review and Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)will have to wait a tad longer for its acquisition ambitions to see the light of day.

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