SoftBank Upps the Bid for Sprint

Japanese carrier SoftBank has upped their offer for Sprint to $21.6 billion, reports the NY Times, after being pressured by a counter-offer of $25 billion from Dish Network.

Under the revised terms of the complex transaction, SoftBank agreed to shift over about $1.5 billion earmarked for Sprint itself to the company’s shareholders instead. Existing investors can now sell their shares at $7.65 apiece, up nearly 5 percent from the first offer.

Sprint added that it had ended sales talks with Dish, which offered about $7 a share. In a statement, Sprint said Dish had failed to put forward an acceptable formal bid despite weeks of conducting due diligence.

To give Sprint stockholders time to evaluate the amended agreement, Sprint and SoftBank have agreed to adjourn the Special Meeting of Stockholders to be convened on June 12, 2013 until June 25, 2013.

The revised merger agreement creates a deadline of June 18, 2013 for DISH to provide its ‘best and final’ offer and for the completion of deliberations by the Special Committee and notice to SoftBank.

Dish and Sprint also are competing for Clearwire, which is about 50 percent owned by Sprint. Dish’s bid values the wireless broadband provider at $6.5 billion.

John Stanton, the current chairman of the board of Clearwire, is a legendary deal maker. Craig McCaw’s alter ego created McCaw Cellular on 800 MHz from scratch, and orchestrated the sale to AT&T for $12 billion. He then created Western Wireless on the 1.9 Ghz PCS band (which became T-Mobile USA) and transformed Nextel into a cellular service, which was then sold to Sprint.

The battle for Sprint and Clearwire is a landmark event. Books may be written about it but it would be hard to top James Murray’s brilliant Wireless Nation, which put you inside the drama of the creating the first cellular duopoly on 800 MHz (combining “wireline” and “non-wireline” competitors) in each market.

Charlie Ergen, like Craig McCaw and John Stanton, is a compelling character. This drama ain’t over. The new greenfield is 600 MHz, Dish’s 2.1 GHz band, and the small cell frontier on two dot six. White Spaces may be a solution in emerging markets. New spectrum and technologies will enable the real revolution – in the cloud.

Related Dailywireless articles include; Dish Makes $25.5 billion Bid for Sprint Sprint Buys Spectrum, Subs from US Cellular, Softbank & Sprint Do a Deal, Sprint & Softbank Discuss Merger, Intelligence Committee: Huawei & ZTE Security Threats , Clearwire Ownership Vote Delayed 2 Weeks, Battle for Clearwire, Clearwire Committee Likes Sprint Offer Best, Verizon to Buy Clear Spectrum for $1.5 Billion?, Sprint Buyout of Clearwire Fought by Crest Financial, Sprint to Buy Clearwire, DISH Proposes to Buy Clearwire

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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