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Dish Network bids $25.5 billion for Sprint

Dish Network bids $25.5 billion for Sprint
Charles Ergen's dream of owning a wireless carrier has just become real. Ergen's Dish Network has bid $25.5 billion for Sprint. Stockholders of the nation's third largest carrier will receive $4.76 in cash and 0.05953 DISH shares. The deal tops the current offer from Softbank to buy 70% of the carrier by 13% and works out to a total package worth roughly $6.96. based on Friday's closing prices. Sprint shares closed Friday at $6.22 and are bid at $7.16 in pre-market trading. Dish Network shares closed Friday at $37.63 and are bid at $34.01 in pre-market trading. Based on those prices, the deal would be worth $6.78 to each Sprint holder.

Ergen had been trying to purchase network supplier Clearwire, but despite offering more than Sprint for the company, the fact that Sprint already owned a majority stake in Clearwire made the task close to impossible. Now, Dish will end up with Clearwire after all, along with the rest of the nation's third largest carrier. If the deal goes through, it will allow for $11 billion in cost savings. Ergen hopes to bundle Sprint's wireless service with satellite content for television from Dish.

The ball is in Softbank's court. It can decide to raise its bid or even offer to buy the entire company although that might result in regulatory issues. On the other hand, it could decide to walk away and let Dish Network purchase Sprint.

source: DISHNetwork via Engadget

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