SoftBank and Sprint tipped to buy T-Mobile in June; combined carrier to be run by Legere?

SoftBank and Sprint tipped to buy T-Mobile in June; combined carrier to be run by Legere?
It has been awhile since we last heard anything on the long rumored Sprint acquisition of T-Mobile. Considering the disdain that U.S. regulators have shown for this deal, we figured that SoftBank and Sprint had given up. Throw in the aggressive pro-consumer moves made by T-Mobile, and we figured that Sprint didn't want to deal with a company that was shaking things up in the mobile industry. After all, Sprint CEO Dan Heese seems as buttoned down as they come, the complete opposite of Legere's outspoken nature.

According to a report published on Wednesday, Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer and Treasurer Greg Block met with some big Wall Street banks (not the kind that give away toasters) to press ahead with financing of a Sprint purchase of T-Mobile. Six banks were asked to be ready to lend a rather large sum of money to the nation's third largest carrier so that it could buy the nation's fourth largest carrier. A bid could be made as soon as June.

While things are moving ahead on the financing part of the deal, SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son is said to be working on arguments to show the FCC and FTC just how necessary this acquisition is. What the two regulatory agencies fear is that with T-Mobile gone, a carrier that has been extremely pro-consumer would disappear. To counter that fear, T-Mobile CEO John Legere is supposedly at the top of the short list of executives that would run a combined Sprint-T-Mobile. And while some have grown tired of his antics, most still consider him to be a breath of fresh air in an industry that can get pretty staid at times.

For the record, 67% of T-Mobile is owned by Germany's Deutsche Telekom. Which ever firm gets this block of stock, gets T-Mobile. Sprint is 78% owned by Japan's SoftBank. The latest rumor is that Deutsche Telekom wants as much cash for its block of T-Mobile stock, as opposed to more paper like shares or bonds. Son has yet to decide how to proceed, but whatever debt is amassed by SoftBank to make this deal happen, would be added to the $8.7 billion owed by T-Mobile.

source: Bloomberg


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