In the wake of SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint and T-Mobile’s merger with MetroPCS, analysts believe other smaller carriers will also be takeover targets. Kevin Smithen of Macquarie Capital, per Investor’s Business Daily, upgraded Leap Wireless last week to a neutral rating from underperform on speculation that T-Mobile or Dish may be looking to acquire the carrier. The analyst noted that T-Mobile’s higher share price could be appealing for a potential stock deal, adding that Leap wouldn’t settle for anything less than $10 per share. He noted that the carrier could be pressured to sell at a lower price though, because T-Mobile will be entering more of Leap’s markets in the second half of the year. Smithen thinks this could “put further pressure on Leap’s already eroding operating business.” He also believes the carrier could be on Dish’s radar following the company’s failed acquisitions of both Sprint and Clearwire.
Efforts to acquire Sprint have been a long and arduous fiasco for SoftBank, but the Japan-based carrier moved one step closer to completing the deal on Tuesday evening. Following SoftBank’s revised offer for Sprint that would see its bid increased to $21.6 billion, Dish announced that it is abandoning the race and will not revise its current offer, which is not expected to be accepted. Dish had previously offered a total of $25.5 billion for Sprint, including $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock, but the SoftBank deal is seen as the more promising option. According to Reuters, Dish said it declined to revise its offer because it did not want to match the break-up fees offered in the SoftBank proposal. More →
SoftBank on Monday announced a revised offer to acquire Sprint. The company increased its bid by 7.5% from $20.1 billion to $21.6 billion in cash and stock. SoftBank notes that $4.5 billion in cash has been reallocated to give Sprint shareholders $5.50 per share, up from $4.02. The carrier was pressured to increase its bid for Sprint after Dish offered $25.5 billion to acquire the company. SoftBank’s CEO repeatedly insisted that his company’s proposal offers the best value for Sprint, however a number of influential shareholders had called for a higher offer. The company’s board of directors has approved the new offer and given Dish until June 18th to present its “best and final offer.” Sprint shareholders are scheduled to vote on the SoftBank deal in two weeks.
Dish on Wednesday increased its bid to acquire wireless broadband wholesaler Clearwire. The company is now offering $4.40 per share, a 29% premium over Sprint’s proposal, which values the firm at $6.47 billion. Sprint recently raised its offer to $3.40 per share after shareholders had criticized its original proposal of $2.97 per share. Dish, whose offer comes two days before Clearwire shareholders are scheduled to vote on Sprint’s proposal, is also locked in a battle with Japanese company SoftBank to acquire Sprint.
Japanese carrier SoftBank has granted Sprint a waiver allowing it to consider Dish’s $25.5 billion bid for the company. The waiver gives Sprint permission to disclose non-public information and engage in negotiations with Dish regarding its buyout proposal. The Sprint Board of Directors has the right to terminate the existing merger agreement with SoftBank to accept a superior offer, however it has not yet changed its recommendation. SoftBank offered to pay $20.1 billion for a 70% stake in the wireless provider last October. Sprint will conduct due diligence with Dish and make a final decision in early June when shareholders vote to approve or reject SoftBank’s offer. Sprint’s press release follows below. More →
The battle continues between two chief executives and their ambitions to acquire the third-largest wireless carrier in the United States. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son and Dish chairman Charlie Ergen have taken shots at one another as they continue to fight for Sprint. Son previously claimed that Dish would ruin Sprint because it had no mobile experience, while Ergen said Sprint would be better off with a U.S. company that can speak English and not a foreign one like SoftBank. More →
Just one day after SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son attacked the Dish Network over its plan to buy U.S. wireless carrier Sprint, Dish chairman Charlie Ergen hit back by saying that Sprint would benefit by being owned by an American company and not by a foreign company such as the Japanese SoftBank. Reuters reports Ergen said that in addition to offering a higher price for Sprint, Dish would be the best choice to run Sprint because “we are an American company and the modernization of Sprint’s network will have to be done from the U.S.” More →
SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son has said that his company will not increase its bid for Sprint because it is already offering the better deal than Dish. Masayoshi believes that Dish Network’s competing offer for the company will delay the carrier’s turnaround and leave it riddled with debt, The Wall Street Journal reported. He noted that SoftBank has experience in the telecommunications industry, unlike Dish, which will prove useful in helping Sprint return to profitability. Dish claims that its $25.5 billion bid offers a premium over SoftBank’s proposal, however the executive said that belief is “totally wrong” and “incomplete and illusory.” More →
Although Japanese carrier SoftBank has been courting Sprint for the past several months, it’s apparently willing to let the carrier see other companies. Sprint announced on Monday that it had received “a waiver of various provisions of the merger agreement” with SoftBank so that it can enter into a non-disclosure agreement and discussions with Dish to learn more about its competing merger proposal. Sprint may not enter into negotiations with Dish under the waiver, nor is it allowed to give Dish any non-public information. Instead, the point of the talks is to decide whether Dish’s offer represents a better deal for the company that would give it ample reason to break off its merger with SoftBank.
Sprint’s board of directors has set up a special committee to evaluate Dish Network’s proposed $25.5 billion acquisition, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The company is also said to be looking to hire an investment bank to help it assess the offer. Dish’s bid is a counter offer to Japanese carrier Softbank’s planned merger with the wireless company. Sprint’s decision to establish a special committee shows that it is at least considering Dish’s offer. Both deals involve cash-and-stock options, and while Sprint’s board had initially backed Softbank’s proposal, two significant Sprint shareholders recently voiced their support for Dish’s bid, further complicating the planned merger with Softbank.
Dish will obviously have a hard time buying Sprint if SoftBank is allowed to buy it first, which is why the company is asking the Federal Communications Commission to delay any action on the proposed Sprint-SoftBank merger until Dish’s own proposal gets a fair shake. Bloomberg reports that Dish is describing its $25.5 billion bid for Sprint as “an important new development” that Sprint executives need time to consider before the FCC moves to sign off on a deal with SoftBank. In particular, Dish argues that because its “merger proposal is currently before the Sprint board of directors, the question of which transaction the commission ultimately should be deciding is unsettled.” Dish’s announcement earlier this week that it was interested in buying Sprint marked the first time that the satellite television provider had signalled a clear intent to move into the mobile voice and data market.
SoftBank doesn’t appear to be worried about Dish Network’s recent bid for Sprint. The Japanese carrier said in a statement to AllThingsD that it believes its proposed merger offers a superior option to Sprint shareholders with both “short and long-term benefits to Dish’s highly conditional preliminary proposal.” Dish on Monday challenged SoftBank’s merger proposition with a bid of its own worth $25.5 billion. The proposed deal values the carrier at $7.00 per share, considerably higher than SoftBank’s offer of $4.03 per share. Despite the higher bid, SoftBank remains confident and said that it expects the transaction to be completed by July 1st.
Pay-TV operator Dish has made a dramatic bid for Sprint in an effort to elbow SoftBank aside. The company’s $25.5 billion bid is 13% above the offer SoftBank had made previously. What makes the situation so fascinating is the strong growth of mobile video consumption over the past year. In a recent interview with AdGent, the advertising platform company pointed out that browser-based video viewing is now the No.1 activity on tablets, growing faster than app usage. In a separate interview, David Steinberg from XL Marketing remarked that mobile video ads now have roughly three times higher CPM than app ads. More →