Japanese company SoftBank has announced its plan to purchase a 70 percent stake in U.S. carrier Sprint for $20.1 billion, which will include $8 billion towards investment.
The all-cash deal is expected to close during mid-2013, with the Japanese technology and investment firm due to purchase an accumulative of 70 percent of Sprint's stock for $12.1 billion, accompanied by a further $8 billion in investment.
SoftBank has offered to buy Sprint shareholders' stock at $7.30, representing a 27 percent premium over the carrier's closing stock price on Friday. Boards from both companies have approved the transaction.
"This transaction provides an excellent opportunity for Softbank to leverage its expertise in smartphones and next-generation high-speed networks, including LTE, to drive the mobile Internet revolution in the world's largest market," said Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son. "As we have proven in Japan, we have achieved a V-shaped earnings recovery in the acquired mobile business and grown dramatically by introducing differentiated products and innovative services to an incumbent-led market. Our track record of innovation, combined with Sprint's strong brand and local leadership provides a constructive beginning toward creating a more competitive American mobile market."
The deal comes at an ideal time for Sprint, who reported a net loss of $1.37 billion during the second quarter. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said the deal will benefit shareholders, as well as lead to a "stronger, better-capitalized Sprint." Sprint will also learn from SoftBank's "successful deployment of LTE in Japan as we build out our advanced LTE network, improve the customer experience, and continue the turnaround of our operations."
SoftBank, who will pay the $12.1 billion in cash, said the money will derive from the company's own reserves and financing stemming from Mizuho Corporate Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, as well as Deutsche Bank.