Dashing the dreams of Dish Networks, which wants to become a telecom player in the U.S. market, SoftBank is close to buying Sprint. Sprint is also set to acquire Clearwire.
Interestingly, Dish Networks could not get support for its “campaign to protect American security” by stopping SoftBank from buying Sprint Nextel.
Since Sprint has increased the bid price for Clearwire and received support from key shareholders, Dish Networks will not be in a position to go ahead with its American telecom ambitions for the time being.
The more confident SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son on Friday said that U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Nextel Corp will save $2 billion a year on average from cost-cutting measures in the first four years after it is acquired by the Japanese company — in a deal valued at around $21.6 billion.
Son, speaking at an annual SoftBank shareholders’ meeting in Tokyo, said his company was on track to acquire Sprint by July, as long as its $21.6 billion bid is approved by both Sprint shareholders and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.
However, Dish Networks could offer a revised bid by June 25, when Sprint meets its shareholders.
Son said the bidding war for Sprint with U.S. satellite TV provider Dish Network prompted his company to consider various other options, including buying No. 4 U.S. mobile carrier T-Mobile, which is 74 percent owned by Deutsche Telekom, Reuters reported.
In a related development, Sprint is set to take the upper hand in a separate battle with Dish over control of Clearwire, raising its buyout offer to $5 per share.
Sprint Nextel raised its buyout offer for Clearwire to $5 per share and announced support from a key group of dissident shareholders, likely ending a bitter battle with rival suitor Dish Network.
Sprint said it has support from shareholders with 45 percent of Clearwire’s minority shares, just shy of the more than 50 percent it needs to take over the company.
Earlier, Dish requested the FCC to block the SoftBank deal with Sprint as the Japanese telecom giant work with several Chinese equipment makers including Huawei and ZTE. Dish suggests that SoftBank’s association with Chinese companies will be a threat to American telecom markets.