Billionaire trader tells clients that Sprint or Dish could go after T-Mobile

Billionaire trader tells clients that Sprint or Dish could go after T-Mobile
Hedge Fund manager John Paulson is a successful investor who made $15 billion for his clients by being a bear in the subprime market in 2007. Paulson & Co.'s largest fund buys shares of companies involved in mergers and acquisitions. The $17 billion fund had held shares in MetroPCS prior to T-Mobile's purchase of the pre-paid carrier, which has now turned into a 2.3% stake in T-Mobile. Paulson plans on holding on to the stake because he sees T-Mobile as a potential target for other players in the industry. In a letter to clients, the money manager said that T-Mobile could end up being pursued by either Sprint or Dish Networks.


Paulson and Co. happens to be the third largest holder in Leap Wireless, which is being acquired by AT&T for $1.2 billion. That deal could lead some of the major carriers to take another look at consolidation. T-Mobile had been considered a possible buyer for Leap Wireless after seeing its stock rise 50% since May. That gives it a currency to use for acquisitions, and with Leap's shares continuing to trade above AT&T's bid of $15 a share, Wall Street is expecting another player to come into the deal with a higher price.

Meanwhile, Dish has been thwarted not once but twice in an effort to gain spectrum in order to start a new wireless carrier. Dish lost out to SoftBank after offering to buy Sprint for $25.5 billion, and was outbid by Sprint for Clearwire. Charles Ergen and his company should be seen as armed and dangerous in this game of consolidation in the mobile operator industry.

source: Bloomberg

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14 Comments

1. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Somewhere an article was posted that Plan B for Dish was T-Mo. Likewise for Softbank. Sounds like Dish is going to have to ask itself how bad it wants T-Mo.

2. KFear

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

Sprint is on the rise. They have gained some incredibly useful spectrum and they have ample funding for their LTE and voice network now that Softbank has stepped in. Sprint has marketed being the better "value" for too long. Time to be "the best". As we all know, they have a long ways to go. Still, we are about to see an aggressive push and they have more than ever to help back them up. In a year, it will be awesome being a Sprint customer again.

5. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

They're bleeding money, not building in major metro areas, have the worst lineup of phones if the big 4, coverage is terrible for anyone on 3g or higher, they're still getting boned by that bum iphone deal, and.just got acquired by a Japanese bank. Sprint hasn't made a good growth-focused customer-positive move since it bought Nextel

9. KFear

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

Not sure if that was a reply to my comment or a seperate statement. I agree. Everyone would agree with that. I just said that they are on the rise, that's all. Denver as I type is getting a huge network overhaul.

10. bpurtell24

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

I really think you should do your research before you let stupidity spew out of your mouth. You hear "Softbank" buys Sprint, do some research before you try to act like you have a slight clue what you're talking about. Softbank is a wireless carrier in Japan. Softbank is a very successful wireless carrier in Japan at that. Do your homework before you speak buddy. Everyone knows Sprints data speeds are not all that. Do they go on TV and say they are? No, they do not, they promise value in wireless which is rare to come by, and if you have actually done your homework, which you have not. You would know that Softbank drives competition in wireless through the country. You want to talk about a bum IPhone deal? What carrier did not get a bum IPhone deal guy? I'm pretty sure your Verizon, T-Mo and AT&T are all being boned by Apple. Again. Do some homework before you speak. Nextel spectrum has a lot of low freq spectrum to offer, which you would also know if you had a clue what you're talking about. But again, you don't. Have a nice day buddy, you should try to use Google more often before you speak.

12. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

Dang. Blast the guy why don't ya. LOL! Although I have to agree with you. To anyone who analyzes the carriers to a technical level realizes that Sprint and T-Mobile have a natural disadvantage being higher in the frequency spectrum vs Verizon's and AT&T's 700 MHz nationwide spectrum. Running at 1700 MHz or 2100 MHz provides for horrible building penetration. Even with having their LTE networks rolling out they're still high in those frequencies. Where I live is pretty far outside of Seattle, about 35 minutes from downtown and we're just now seeing LTE roll out for Sprint and T-Mobile. Both are iffy inside my house both dropping down to 3G speeds. But step outside and both are capable of solid 20,000 Kbps down LTE connections. Sprint having access to the newly decommissioned 800 MHz Nextel network nationwide makes me a very hopeful man. But from other news I heard is that Softbank is receiving a beating for buying Sprint and their bonds are now viewed as Junk. So maybe the newly owned Sprint isn't as rich as we all would have hoped. But I'm sure their network will improve greatly. I'm still thinking back fondly to their WiMAX network here in Seattle, I used to get solid 8000 Kbps connections that never faltered in speeds. I could run a speed test and it would be dead level the whole way through. Once I went to a LTE phone without a LTE network I almost died. So slow!

3. DANTExphone888

Posts: 102; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Sprint should go after U.S. Cellular. It only makes sense with all this sprint takeover stuff.

4. tigermcm

Posts: 861; Member since: Sep 02, 2009

i agree and plus us cellular is cmda which should be a seemless take over. also isnt us cellular in areas that sprint isnt?

8. DANTExphone888

Posts: 102; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

Yes,they are, like in certain areas of Oregon and Wisconsin, but still I would be better if sprint took over U.S. Cellular

6. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

Meh, leave T-Mobile alone. It's finally in a growth state with good customer and investor response, let it keep that up for awhile without any outside stimuli.

7. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Here's a good article about Paulson's financial insights.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-08/paulson-s-pfr-gold-fund-fell-23-in-june-65-this-year.html His fund is DOWN 65% year-to-date. That guy needs to shut up.

11. OldNorseBruin

Posts: 235; Member since: Mar 12, 2013

Very unlikely that SPRINT would even be ALLOWED to buy T-MOBILE . The Department of Justice did NOT allow At&t to control 2 of the Big 4 networks; The DOJ will NOT allow SPRINT to own 2 of the BIG 4 networks....AND that is a GOOD thing!

13. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

I agree. Being that Sprint is now owned by an overseas company and has such a wealth of spectrum with its purchase of Clear, I highly doubt the DoJ would allow them to buy another major carrier. Even if it would create a Sprint that had equivalent subscriber count to the big two. Besides I would be pretty let down with only 3 major carriers. I like options!

14. a_merryman

Posts: 749; Member since: Dec 14, 2011

I doubt the FCC would raise that much of a fuss, the reason they wouldn't let AT&T acquire T-Mobile is b/c the new company would have had nearly half of the us population as their subscribers. Thus allowing the Big Two to set whatever prices they want. Sprint and T-mobile would allow the new company to be able to compete in the short term with the big two by putting them on almost equal footing in terms of size. So I think that the FCC would only require the new company to divest some of their spectrum. That said, I still dont want it to happen, I want the FCC to be able to get a good amount of the 600 MHz spectrum up for auction and then make sure that Sprint and T-mobile and the smaller regional carriers are allowed to pick up the bulk of it without the Big 2 stepping in to gobble up even more sub- 1 GHz spectrum. That 600 MHz spectrum would finally give Sprint and T-mobile equal footing and could allow for a viable 4 national carriers, maybe if Dish jumps in we could have 5 real national carriers...and that would be wonderful because competition is awesome.

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