Sprint shareholders approve SoftBank's $21.6B buyout

The deal is expected to reinvigorate the biggest rival to AT&T and Verizon Wireless

Sprint Nextel shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to approve SoftBank's US$21.6 billion takeover bid, setting the stage for the deal to close early next month.

At a special shareholder meeting on Tuesday, 98 percent of the shares voted were in favor of the deal, representing 80 percent of all Sprint's stock, according to a Sprint press release. The approval followed a bidding war between SoftBank and Dish Network, the satellite service provider that dropped out of the race last week.

SoftBank will pay $7.64 per share, for a total of $16.64 billion in cash, and invest about $5 billion of new capital into Sprint. It will own 78 percent of the new company. The Japanese suitor modified its original bid earlier this month amid Dish's competing overtures. The final offer gives shareholders more cash but doesn't inject as much new capital into Sprint.

The deal still needs to be approved by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, but Sprint and SoftBank expect it to close on schedule in early July.

However, a key piece of SoftBank's plans for Sprint remains in question as Dish continues its attempt to buy a stake in Clearwire, the spectrum-rich Sprint network partner that Sprint is also trying to buy. Last week, Clearwire and Sprint said they had agreed to Sprint's latest offer of $5 per share, but that deal still awaits a shareholder vote on July 8.

SoftBank's acquisition and investment in Sprint is expected to help the third-largest U.S. mobile operator better compete against the two dominant carriers, AT&T and Verizon Wireless. The acquisition of Clearwire, which has approximately 160MHz of spectrum in major markets and is building an LTE network intended to complement Sprint's, is a critical part of that new competitive effort.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileMergers and acquisitionsbusiness issuestelecommunication4gClearwiresprint nextelSoftbankCarriersDISH Network

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?