In case investors doubted SoftBank's commitment to Sprint the first time, the Japanese carrier has upped its stake in Sprint for a second time this month, purchasing 16.8 million more shares in the US operator for a total of $73 million.
Bloomberg first reported on the increase, noted in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. It calculated that SoftBank Corp. paid $73 million for 16.8 million shares in Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S). This builds on its additional $86.9 million investment into Sprint made just last week on August 13. (See SoftBank Ups Its Stake in Sprint.)
SoftBank now owns just over 80% of Sprint, up from 79.99% last week. The two re-investments come as SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has reiterated his commitment to Sprint, despite admitting he had lost confidence in the struggling US carrier when its acquisition of T-Mobile US Inc. failed. SoftBank cannot, however, increase its holdings to more than 85%, or Sprint would be a candidate for delisting. (See Sprint Promises Better LTE on Lower Capex.)
The market seems to share Son's confidence. While SoftBank's stock fell 0.9% to 7,440 yen in Tokyo on Tuesday, Sprint's has risen 20% since SoftBank's stock purchase last week and currently stands at $4.68.
— Sarah Thomas, , Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading