ISS Backs SoftBank Bid for Sprint

A prominent proxy adviser said Sprint Nextel shareholders should vote for a $20.1 billion acquisition by SoftBank, but set aside the more contentious question of whether the deal is better than a rival proposal from satellite-television operator Dish Network.

Institutional Shareholder Services, which advises big investors like mutual funds how to vote in corporate elections, said SoftBank is paying a fair price in a deal that will provide the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier with much needed capital.

ISS said it hadn’t developed a view as to whether Dish’s $25.5 billion proposal to buy Sprint might offer shareholders a better deal, saying it is only a preliminary offer that shareholders can’t actually choose yet.

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