Confirming previous reports
, Softbank and Sprint Nextel today announced that they have entered into a series of definitive agreements under which SoftBank will invest $20.1 billion in Sprint.
The $12.1 billion will be distributed to Sprint stockholders and the remaining $8.0 billion to strengthen Sprint?s balance sheet, the companies said.
Through this transaction, approximately 55% of current Sprint shares will be exchanged for $7.30 per share in cash, and the remaining shares will convert into shares of a new publicly traded entity, New Sprint. Following closing, SoftBank will own approximately 70% and Sprint equity holders will own approximately 30% of the shares of New Sprint on a fully-diluted basis.
SoftBank's cash contribution, expertise in the deployment of next-generation wireless networks are expected to create a more competitive newSprint. The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both SoftBank and Sprint. Completion of the transaction is subject to Sprint stockholder approval, customary regulatory approvals and the satisfaction or waiver of other closing conditions. The companies expect the closing of the merger transaction to occur in mid-2013.
SoftBank Chairman and CEO, Masayoshi Son, said, "This transaction provides an excellent opportunity for SoftBank to leverage its expertise in smartphones and next-generation high speed networks, including LTE, to drive the mobile internet revolution in one of the world's largest markets. As we have proven in Japan, we have achieved a v-shaped earnings recovery in the acquired mobile business and grown dramatically by introducing differentiated products to an incumbent-led market. Our track record of innovation, combined with Sprint's strong brand and local leadership, provides a constructive beginning toward creating a more competitive American wireless market."
With Sprint in hand, Softbank may also look to acquire
smaller U.S. carrier MetroPCS Communications, Japanese media have reported.