Monday, October 15, 2012

Japan's SoftBank in talks to acquire 70% stake in Sprint Nextel

SoftBank Corp.,Masayoshi Son
SoftBank Corp. was founded Sept. 3, 1981, with headquarters in the Higashi-shimbashi area of Minato-ku, Tokyo. Masayoshi Son is chairman and CEO.

A deal is in the works for SoftBank Corp,. a Japanese telecommunications conglomerate, to acquire a 70 percent in Sprint Nextel, the number three mobile company in the United States, behind AT&T and Verizon.

Sprint Nextel
This could be the ship coming in for Sprint, as SoftBank will put $12.1 billion on the table to close the deal and then offer another $8 billion investment for network improvements. SoftBank is touting their expertise in the "next-generation wireless networks" and their experience with deployment of LTE in Japan.

SoftBank Corp.
“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," said SoftBank Chairman and CEO, Masayoshi Son. "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 could use the help with deployment of 4G LTE. They list 24 markets on their website, which is less than competitors like AT&T, who lay claim to the largest 4G network, covering 275 million people and Verizon's 400-plus LTE markets. But Sprint does have plans to roll out 4G services in 20 additional cities in the coming months.

"Our management team is excited to work with SoftBank to learn from their successful deployment of LTE in Japan as we build out our advanced LTE network, improve the customer experience and continue the turnaround of our operations,” said Sprint CEO, Dan Hesse.

SoftBank will form a new U.S. subsidiary, New Sprint, and if the deal passes regulatory approval in the coming months, SoftBank has plans to sweeten the pot with an additional $17 billion investment.

According to Sprint, their headquarters will continue to be in Overland Park, Kansas and Hesse will continue as CEO of New Sprint and as a board member.

More on Softbank: Video profile.

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