Softbank lets Sprint share books with Dish

Dylan Bushell-Embling
22 May 2013

New developments are coming thick and fast from Softbank's $20.1 billion offer for 70% of Sprint Nextel, Dish Network's counter-offer and Sprint's own bid for full ownership of Clearwire.

Softbank has given Sprint Nextel permission to share its books with Dish Network, to allow Dish to conduct due diligence on its $25.5 billion counter-offer, ‎Sprint said in a filing.

Softbank has decided to waive the clause preventing Sprint from sharing private information with other companies in order to quickly resolve the bidding war, the Financial Times reported. Softbank hopes to close the transaction in six weeks.

Softbank and Dish have been publicly sparring over the relative strengths of their takeover offers, with both claiming their offer is superior.

A key component of both proposals is Sprint buying out the remainder of wireless operator Clearwire. Sprint had already offered $2.97 per share for the roughly 48% of Clearwire it doesn't own, but yesterday raised its offer by 14% to $3.40 per share.

The increased offer lifts the total value of the deal from around $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion, and values Clearwire at $10.7 billion.

Further complicating matters, Bloomberg reports that Dish network has now made a $2 billion offer for spectrum held by LightSquared. The US 4G hopeful has been dormant since regulator FCC blocked its proposal to build a network on the 1.6-GHz band, citing concerns over possible interference to GPS devices.

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