Proxy firm Glass Lewis advises Sprint holders to abstain on SoftBank vote
Just the other day, proxy advisor ISS recommended that Sprint holders vote in favor of the SoftBank deal while not passing along any judgment on whether the Dish deal is the superior offer. On a per share basis, Dish gives stock holders more money, but SoftBank plans on financing Sprint to the tune of $8 billion after the deal. Dish has not revealed any such plan. Furthermore, the bid from SoftBank is fully financed while the Dish deal is not. That would mean that if Sprint holders turn down SoftBank and its outspoken chief executive Masayoshi Son, Sprint holders technically could end up with no bid. And since SoftBank has been financing Sprint's bid to buy network wholesaler Clearwire, should the deal with the Japanese communications firm not get approved, the carrier could end up losing Clearwire to Dish. Or was that Charles Ergen's strategy all along?
Some major Sprint holders like hedge-fund Paulson and Co. and Omega Advisors, the second and ninth largest holders of Sprint respectively, both have said that Dish's deal for all of Sprint looks attractive. Another proxy advisory firm, Egan-Jones Proxy Services, is recommending that Sprint holders vote against the SoftBank offer with the thinking that there could be a deal with Dish or a higher bid from SoftBank. With the stockholder vote a week away, we could see SoftBank revise its bid higher in order to get stock holders firmly on its side.