SoftBank raises Sprint offer, shareholder vote delayed

On June 25, Sprint shareholders are scheduled to vote on Softbank Corp's higher takeover offer, which faces a rival offer from Dish Network Corp.

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 June, 2013, 10:11am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 June, 2013, 10:11am

Japan’s SoftBank Corp said on Tuesday that it has agreed with Sprint Nextel Corp to raise its offer for the US wireless operator to US$21.6 billion (HK$167.7 billion) from a previous offer of US$20.1 billion.

The announcement came a day before a scheduled Sprint shareholders’ meeting to vote on SoftBank’s offer, which faces a challenge from Dish Network Corp’s counter offer of US$25.5 billion for Sprint, the No. 3 US mobile provider.

That meeting has now been adjourned until June 25.

Hedge fund and No. 2 Sprint shareholder Paulson & Co said it would vote all of its shares in favour of SoftBank’s improved offer.

SoftBank will increase its cash injection to Sprint shareholders to US$4.5 billion, bringing the total cash consideration to US$16.5 billion, Sprint said in a separate statement.

Sprint also said its committee evaluating Dish’s bid has unanimously determined that it “is not reasonably likely to lead to a ‘superior offer’”.

“As a consequence of the lack of progress with Dish and the improved terms from SoftBank, the special committee ended its discussions with Dish,” Sprint said.

The revised deal with SoftBank gives Dish a June 18 deadline for providing a best and final offer.

Shares of SoftBank were up 0.5 per cent on Tuesday morning, in line with a 0.3 per cent rise in the benchmark Nikkei average .