Sprint could be set for a cash injection of $20 billion if ongoing talks between its owners and billionaire investors Warren Buffett and Liberty Global chairman John Malone prove successful, Reuters reported.
According to the news website’s sources, Masayoshi Son – CEO of SoftBank, Sprint’s largest shareholder – met with Malone and Buffett separately last week to discuss potential investments in the operator.
Although still in the early stages, talks with Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway are rumoured to be for a stake of around $20 billion, with the level discussed with Malone unknown.
The future of Sprint, which is the fourth largest operator in the US by connections, has been the subject of regular speculation since a proposed merger with rival T-Mobile fell apart in 2014 amid concerns the deal was unlikely to get past regulators.
Informal talks between the two recommenced in May after months of conjecture the two were mulling ways to combine their offerings. Although the theory is yet to be tested, Son believes the Trump administration is more open to market consolidation than the previous US government.
However, within two months of negotiations with T-Mobile recommencing, they were again put on hold as Sprint entered exclusive talks with cable operators Comcast and Charter Communications.
A deal with the cable companies would likely see them invest in Sprint’s network and use it to launch their own mobile services. According The Wall Street Journal, Comcast and Charter Communications are in a two month window of exclusive negotiations, due to expire in late July.