Softbank in Advanced Talks to Acquire Sprint Nextel

Japanese mobile carrier Softbank Corp. is in advanced talks to buy U.S. operator Sprint Nextel Corp. in a deal expected to exceed ¥1 trillion ($12.81 billion) in value, a person with knowledge of the negotiations said Thursday.

The acquisition, if agreed upon, will mark a massive gamble by Softbank, the country’s third-largest carrier by subscribers, to expand its business outside of Japan. Softbank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son has made big bets in the past including acquiring the Japanese arm of Vodafone Group PLC in 2006. It paid for the deal through a leveraged buyout, which vaulted the company in the mobile phone business.

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