Ina Fried

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Done Deal: SoftBank Now Firmly in Control of Sprint

As expected, Sprint said on Wednesday that it has completed a deal to sell a controlling interest in the company to Japan’s SoftBank.

softbank_sprint_logos

With the deal’s closure, SoftBank now owns 78 percent of Sprint after investing $21.6 billion in the company. Of that, $16.6 billion will go to Sprint shareholders, with $1.9 billion more (for a total of $5 billion) being added as new capital into Sprint itself.

Sprint is also shedding the Nextel from its corporate name, which is especially apt since the Nextel network was shuttered at the end of June. Dan Hesse will remain CEO, while SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son will become the company’s chairman, and SoftBank U.S. head Ronald Fisher will serve as Sprint’s vice chairman.

The deal’s closure marks the final chapter after a months-long bidding war with Dish Network, as well as a related but separate battle over Clearwire, which resulted in Sprint taking full control of that company earlier this week.

SoftBank’s bid has been pretty much assured since Dish dropped out of the running, with the companies garnering all the necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals over the past weeks.

Of course, with the deal done, now the hard work begins; Sprint remains far behind its two main rivals, and has a feisty No. 4 in T-Mobile also looking to regain lost ground.


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google