Softbank may buy USA's Sprint Nextel

Dylan Bushell-Embling
12 Oct 2012
Daily News

Japan's Softbank is in talks over a possible acquisition of a substantial or even controlling stake in the USA's fourth largest mobile operator, Sprint Nextel.

Softbank and Sprint have both confirmed that the negotiations are taking place.

Both are so far staying quiet on the size of the potential deal, but Sprint has disclosed that the transaction could involve a change of ownership for the company.

A report from Japan's Nikkeiclaims that the deal could involve a two-stage transaction worth around 2 trillion yen ($25.49 billion), which would make it the biggest overseas acquisition by a Japanese company to date.

Other reports suggest that Sprint and Softbank could have ambitious plans with their proposed tie-up.

A source close to Softbank told Bloomberg that the companies are planning the transaction to make Sprint financially strong enough to acquire third-ranked T-Mobile USA, and create a true contender to AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom is already looking for an exit. The company tried to sell the unit to AT&T last year for $39 billion, but US regulators stood in the way.

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