Japanese carrier SoftBank and GungHo just paid $1.5 billion for a 51% stake of Supercell. What the heck is going on? Valuing Supercell at $3 billion is actually a lowball. Supercell has consistently generated more revenue than “Candy Crush Saga” creator King in recent months. Supercell has cracked a very difficult market in Japan, with “Clash of Clans” bouncing around Japanese top-10 iPhone sales charts since last June. Yet King is expected to generate $5 billion from its imminent IPO, even though “Candy Crush Saga” never broke out in Japan. More →
SoftBank’s credit has been downgraded following the FCC’s approval of its acquisitions of Sprint and Clearwire, which SoftBank said it expects to close on July 10th. Standard & Poor’s cut the company’s credit rating from a BBB grade to a BB+ junk rating, Bloomberg reported. The agency citied SoftBank’s “exposure to intense competition in the U.S. market,” which is “unlikely to subside substantially in the next two to three years.” It noted, however, that it expects Sprint’s “operating performance to improve gradually” due to cost reductions and “other merger benefits.” A lower credit rating means there is a higher chance a company will default on its loans, which ultimately raises borrowing costs. Sprint shareholders last month agreed to SoftBank’s proposal of $21.6 billion in cash and stock for an 80% stake in the company.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint. The agency also gave Sprint the green light to purchase the remaining 49% of Clearwire it did not already own. Sprint shareholders previously approved SoftBank’s offer of $21.6 billion in cash and stock for an 80% stake in the company. The carrier’s deal to acquire the rest of Clearwire will give current Clearwire shareholders $5 per share and will value the company at approximately $14 billion. Clearwire shareholders are scheduled to vote on Sprint’s proposal on July 8th, and Sprint said it believes both transactions will close later this month. The company’s press release follows below. More →
Long-struggling wireless carrier Sprint is about to get a much-needed dose of good news. Unnamed sources tell Bloomberg that a majority of commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission support SoftBank’s $21.6 billion acquisition of Sprint, thus paving the way for Sprint to have the investment resources it needs to compete with rivals Verizon and AT&T. Bloomberg’s sources also say that the FCC’s approval will cover Sprint’s full acquisition of similarly troubled wireless wholesaler Clearwire, which will give Sprint a large bounty of spectrum that it can use to expand its LTE network throughout the United States. Sprint shareholders approved the SoftBank merger last week so the FCC’s final approval is the last big hurdle that the companies need to formally finish their merger, which SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has projected will be completed this month.
It has taken a while but SoftBank looks like it’s finally about to acquire Sprint. The Hill reports that the Federal Communications Commission appears poised to sign off on both SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint, and on Sprint’s acquisition of wireless wholesaler Clearwire. With those two acquisitions in place, Sprint will have both the strong financial backing and the strong spectrum position it needs to challenge AT&T and Verizon. Sprint’s shareholders approved the SoftBank merger just three days ago so the FCC’s final approval is really the last hurdle that the companies need to formally finish their merger, which SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has projected will be completed in July.
Sprint shareholders on Tuesday voted in favor of SoftBank’s merger bid, which amounts to $21.6 billion in cash and stock for an 80% stake in the carrier. Sprint investors will have the option to receive $7.65 in cash or one share of “new Sprint common stock” for each old share of Sprint. The company noted that the deal received “overwhelmingly” support from shareholders, with roughly 98% voting in favor of the proposal. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son previously said the he expects the deal between to two companies to close in early July. Sprint’s press release follows below. More →
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is confident that his company’s deal to acquire Sprint will close early next month, Reuters reported. Dish Network was originally looking to counter SoftBank’s offer, but the company abandoned its bid earlier this week to focus on acquiring ClearWire. That effort might not work out either. The pressure from Dish, however, forced SoftBank to revise its offer for Sprint earlier this month. The company increased its bid by 7.5% from $20.1 billion to $21.6 billion in cash and stock. Son noted that Dish’s offer had the company worried and exploring alternative options like acquiring T-Mobile, but the executive now believes that with Dish out of the picture, the deal between the two companies will close in early July. Sprint shareholders are scheduled to vote on SoftBank’s offer on June 25th.
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.
Japanese carrier SoftBank is reportedly interested in making a bid for T-Mobile as a potential backup plan in case its deal with Sprint falls through. SoftBank’s $20.1 billion bid for Sprint is being challenged by Dish. Reuters is reporting that SoftBank is in talks with Deutsche Telekom AG, the parent company of T-Mobile, about a possible deal to acquire the U.S. wireless provider. The talks between the two companies are said to have “intensified” in the weeks following Dish’s counteroffer for Sprint. Deutsche Telekom owns 74% of T-Mobile USA, which is said to be valued at $15 billion. The report comes shortly before Sprint shareholders are scheduled to approve or reject SoftBank’s offer on June 12th.
Sprint on Wednesday confirmed that it has received the go-ahead from the U.S. government to merge with Japanese carrier SoftBank. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) had been investigating the proposed acquisition to ensure that it doesn’t pose a risk to national security. The government was worried about the use of telecom equipment from ZTE and Huawei, however SoftBank’s CEO confirmed there are no plans to use Chinese equipment. Sprint and SoftBank have entered into a National Security Agreement with the U.S. government and now only await the green light from the Federal Communications Commission. According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal requires the two companies to have a four-member national security committee, which will include a security director on Sprint’s board of directors that has the power to veto equipment purchases. Sprint’s press release follows below. More →
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 →