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Japan's Softbank in talks to acquire Sprint Nextel

October 11, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • Sprint Nextel is in talks to be acquired by Japan's Softbank Corp.
Sprint Nextel is in talks to be acquired by Japan's Softbank Corp. (Lisa Poole/Associated…)

Sprint Nextel is in talks with Japan's Softbank Corp. for a possible takeover that would give the nation's third-largest carrier much-needed financial support to build out its high-speed LTE network and better compete with Verizon and AT&T.

The deal could be worth as much as $19 billion, according to the Associated Press, and result in Softbank acquiring a 75% stake in the Kansas-based carrier, according to the New York Times.

Sprint confirmed the ongoing talks with Japan's third-largest carrier Thursday in a statement.

“Although there can be no assurances that these discussions will result in any transaction or on what terms any transaction may occur, such a transaction could involve a change of control of Sprint. Sprint does not intend to comment further unless and until an agreement is reached,” Sprint said. 

The deal appears to be a reaction to T-Mobile's decision last week to agree to merge with MetroPCS.

There had been reports that Sprint was preparing a counterbid for MetroPCS, but on Wednesday Bloomberg said Sprint had decided to hold off on that bid. That now appears to be a result of the company's talks with Softbank.

Sprint's share price is at $5.72 and up more than 13% Thursday.


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