Sprint and Softbank complete merger

Sprint and SoftBank complete merger

11 JUL 2013

Sprint and SoftBank have completed their merger nine months after the Japanese company first tabled a bid for the US number-three operator.

SoftBank has invested $21.6 billion in Sprint, $16.6 billion of which will be distributed to Sprint stockholders and $5 billion will be new capital, strengthening Sprint’s balance sheet.

Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse will head the new company and serve on the board of directors while SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son will be chairman of the Sprint Corporation board of directors.

Sprint Corporation will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ‘S’. Regular trading under the new ticker symbol will start tomorrow (12 July).

SoftBank will own around 78 per cent of the company with Sprint equity holders holding 22 per cent. Around 72 per cent of Sprint shares are being acquired by SoftBank for $7.65 per share with the remaining shares converted into shares of a new publicly traded entity named Sprint Corporation.

SoftBank first tabled a $20.1 billion offer for 70 per cent of Sprint in October 2012 before US satellite TV company Dish launched a rival bid of $25.5 billion for 68 per cent of the company in April.

Sprint examined the Dish bid, before SoftBank made its improved bid in June. Dish then failed to meet an 18 June deadline to come up with a firm proposal, leaving the way open for SoftBank.

Sprint stockholders voted to approve the SoftBank transaction at a meeting on 25 June. The US Federal Communications Commission subsequently cleared the deal.

Earlier this week, ratings agency Standard & Poor downgraded SoftBank’s debt rating to junk status due to the increased financial risks associated with its purchase of Sprint.

Author

Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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