Sprint shareholders say yes to SoftBank

Sprint shareholders say yes to SoftBank

26 JUN 2013
Softbank and Sprint

Sprint shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of a revised takeover bid from SoftBank which sees the Japanese firm take a 78 per cent stake in the third-largest mobile operator in the US.

Approval from FCC, the US telecoms regulator, is all that is now required for SoftBank to seal the deal.

The bidding contest between SoftBank and Dish Network for Sprint has often been an acrimonious one, but the failure of the satellite TV broadcaster to meet an 18 June deadline to come up with a firm proposal paved the way for SoftBank.

About 80 per cent of outstanding Sprint shares voted in favour of the $21.6 billion deal with SoftBank at a special shareholder meeting on 25 June.

“Today is a historic day for our company, and I want to thank our shareholders for approving this transformative merger agreement,” said Sprint chief executive Dan Hesse.

“The transaction with SoftBank should enhance Sprint’s long-term value and competitive position by creating a company with greater financial flexibility.”

Assuming SoftBank gets the nod from the FCC, which is expected in early July, the Sprint deal will be the biggest ever takeover of an overseas company by a Japanese firm.

Sprint will use extra investment from SoftBank for network upgrades, as well as help fund its revised offer for the part of Clearwire it doesn’t already own.

Dish is again SoftBank’s adversary in this duel, which is keen to get hold of Clearwire’s valuable spectrum assets.

Clearwire shareholders are to vote on Sprint’s offer on 8 July.


Ken Wieland

Ken has been part of the MWC Mobile World Daily editorial team for the last three years, and is now contributing regularly to Mobile World Live. He has been a telecoms journalist for over 15 years, which includes eight...More

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