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Sprint Bags Another $3.1B in Financing

Sprint announced another infusion of more than $3 billion Friday as the operator tries to remake itself as a lean competitor against larger rivals in the US mobile market over the next year and more.

In total, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has added $3.1 billion to its cash pile. $1.1 billion came from the phone-financing operation created by the operator's majority shareholder, SoftBank Corp. , called Mobile Leasing Solutions, LLC. Sprint sold the unit devices worth $1.3 billion for $1.1 billion in cash.

CFO Tarek Robbiati said in December, when Sprint got its first tranche of financing from the handset operation, that the cash infusions would be quarterly. (See Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture.)

Separately, Sprint revealed Friday an 18-month bridge financing facility arranged by Mizuho Bank, providing $2 billion of extra cash.

This means that Sprint has pulled in more than $5 billion in additional financing in April. At the end of 2015, Sprint had total liquidity of $6 billion at the end of 2015, with an additional $600 million available under vendor financing agreements. (See Sprint to Garner $2.2B From Network Financing Deal.)

The operator also hasn't ruled out selling some small portion of its nationwide holdings of 2.5GHz to raise more money.

The cash infusions are crucial to Sprint as it takes on two daunting tasks: First, shaving $2 billion off its overall cost base by the end of fiscal 2016 through job cuts and a major re-organization of the entire company. Second, adding large-scale speed and coverage density to its 4G network with small cells and other options. (See Sprint to Take $2B Shave and Sprint: We're Building a 5G-Ready Network, Not a 4G Relic for more on this.)

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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