updated 08:58 am EDT, Wed July 3, 2013
Last major hurdle in Sprint acquisition allegedly cleared, soon to be finalized
The Federal Communications Commission will allow for the acquisition of Sprint by Softbank, according to a report. Members of the Commission have apparently voted on the purchase with two out of three commissioners voting for the deal, and all but effectively completes the $21.6 billion deal between the two carriers.
Sources of Bloomberg state that the regulatory vote by the FCC, which has yet to be made public, was to determine if the control of Sprint's signal is "in the public's interest," and follows earlier approval from Sprint shareholders, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Department of Justice.
The original offer by the Japanese carrier was valued at $20 billion, but rose to $21.6 billion after a sudden second offer from Dish Network for $25.5 billion. Shareholders are expected to receive $7.65 per share, or an option to convert Sprint stock into shares in the new company, with the total compensation to shareholders being in the region of $16.6 billion. Once the purchase is finalized, Softbank hopes to build upon Sprint's current spectrum position, in order to duplicate its 4G LTE successes in Japan on US shores.
The FCC vote is not just for the Softbank purchase, as it is claimed it will also approve the offer by Sprint to buy the remainder of Clearwire. Taking place at the same time, the proposal from Sprint of $5 per share in Clearwire beats the $4.40 per share, again bid by Dish Network, and has received unanimous Clearwire board approval ahead of a shareholder vote scheduled for July 8th. The purchase of Clearwire will provide Sprint with 2.5GHz spectrum assets, essential to improving its network coverage.