Japan-based IT and telecoms business SoftBank has agreed a deal that’ll see it owning around 70% of US mobile operator Sprint. SoftBank will invest $20.1 billion (£12.5 billion), with shareholders receiving $12.1 billion and $8 billion being used as new capital.
The deal has been approved by each company’s board of directors but is still subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. It’s expected to be finalised in mid-2013.
Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder, Chairman and CEO, 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.”
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse will continue to be in charge of the restructured business, which is currently being called ‘New Sprint’. Sprint is currently the third-largest mobile network operator in the USA.