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SoftBank calls its offer for Sprint 'superior' to Dish Network's

April 15, 2013|By Andrea Chang
  • A pedestrian passes a Sprint store in New York. The wireless carrier is weighing a buyout offer from Dish Network against a previous bid by SoftBank for 70% of the company.
A pedestrian passes a Sprint store in New York. The wireless carrier is weighing… (Victor J. Blue / Bloomberg )

SoftBank Corp., whose bid for 70% of Sprint Nextel Corp. now faces an unexpected challenge from Dish Network Corp., isn't backing down.

In a statement released late Monday, the Japanese telecommunications giant said its deal to invest $20.1 billion in the United States' third-largest wireless carrier was better than the unsolicited offer made by Dish.

"SoftBank believes that the agreed terms of our transaction with Sprint offer Sprint shareholders superior short- and long-term benefits to Dish's highly conditional preliminary proposal," SoftBank said. "The SoftBank-Sprint transaction is in the advanced stages of receiving the necessary approvals, and we expect to consummate the transaction on July 1, 2013."

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Earlier Monday, satellite broadcaster Dish announced that it had made a $25.5-billion bid for Sprint. The surprise bid is aimed at derailing Sprint's plans to merge with SoftBank.

Sprint said its board of directors would consider Dish's offer, which is made up of $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in Dish stock. If approved, the deal would combine one of the nation's biggest pay-TV providers with the third-largest wireless communications company.

"A transformative Dish/Sprint merger will create the only company that can offer customers a convenient, fully integrated, nationwide bundle of in- and out-of-home video, broadband and voice services," Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said in a statement.

Dish said its offer -- valued at $7 a share -- was a "superior alternative" to the SoftBank proposal.


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