Controlling interest in Sprint Nextel has been purchased for $20.1 Billion by the Japanese mobile operator, Softbank. The announcement came today at a Tokyo press conference and represents the largest overseas acquisition by a Japanese firm.
Softbank will invest $20.1 billion into Sprint with $12.1 billion to be distributed to Sprint Stockholders and $8 billion of new capital to strengthen Sprint's balance sheet and fund efforts to expand Sprint's network reach.
Softbank Chairman and CEO, Masayoshi Son commented that,
“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 one of the world’s largest markets."
The agreement transactions are to be completed by mid-2013 when a new publicly traded entity, New Sprint, will be created. Sprint is hoping to benefit from Softbank's successful deployment of LTE in Japan. Softbank on the other hand gets a newly created U.S. subsidiary and a major foothold in the U.S. wireless market. A foothold that could be used to acquire additional, smaller wireless companies.
What does all this mean for current Sprint customers? It's really too early to tell but maybe, just maybe, this may open the door for our Windows Phones to have more of a presence on Sprint.
Source: Sprint; Thanks, Rudy, for the tip!