Softbank Closes on Sprint Acquisition
The news comes just one day after Sprint completed its acquisition of Clearwire. (See Sprint Closes Clearwire Acquisition.)
Softbank first announced its intention to acquire Sprint for $21.6 billion last October, but the deal has been stymied by an unsolicited bid from Dish Network in April and regulatory scrutiny about a foreign company owning the operator. Softbank ended up sweetening its offer to $7.65 per share, causing Dish to drop its bid. The deal received FCC approval on July 5. (See FCC Approves Softbank/Sprint, Sprint/Clearwire, (Sprint Shareholders Approve Softbank Merger and Dish Throws in the Towel on Sprint Buy.)
Having both deals wrapped up means that Sprint now has significantly more money -- $5 billion of new capital with $1.9 billion available at closing – and spectrum to expedite its LTE rollout and compete against rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Softbank now owns 78 percent of the combined Sprint and Clearwire. Sprint will continue to be listed on the NYSE as "S" with regular trading commencing on Friday. No management changes have been announced within Sprint, but Softbank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son will serve as the chairman of the Sprint board of directors.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading