The third largest U.S. wireless carrier will soon have a new owner. Japan-based Softbank has announced plans to purchase a 70 percent share of Sprint Nextel for approximately $20.1 billion.
According to a Reuters report by Mari Saito and Tim Kelly the $20.1 billion price tag sets a record as “the most a Japanese firm has spent on an overseas acquisition.”
CNBC’s David Faber reported, “The transaction calls for Softbank to buy $8 billion worth of shares directly from Sprint at a price of $5.25 each and tender for another $12 billion worth of the shares from existing holders at a price of $7.30 a share, a large premium to Sprint’s current price. Given the deal’s structure, it will not require a shareholder vote.”
The Wall Street Journal’s Daisuke Wakabayashi And Kana Inagaki noted, “The deal would transform Softbank, a relative newcomer in the telecommunications industry, into one of the world’s largest telecom groups with about 90 million subscribers when combined with Sprint. It expects to complete the deal by mid-2013.”
In The New York Times, Michael J. de la Merced and Neil Gough observed, “Shares in Sprint have risen 14 percent since the wireless company confirmed on Thursday that it was in negotiations with SoftBank, closing at $5.73 on Friday.”