updated 08:22 am EDT, Tue July 9, 2013
Clearwire shareholder vote passed for Sprint acquisition
Sprint has received approval from Clearwire shareholders to acquire the rest of the company, on top of its existing share ownership. The proposal, increased to $5 per share before the shareholder's vote, will allow Sprint to buy the remainder of the company that it does not already own, ahead of the expected closure of the Sprint-Softbank acquisition deal.
The shareholder vote is one of the last steps in the multi-company acquisition, and follows approval from the FCC for the purchase received late last week. The Sprint-Clearwire deal is expected to close later today, with the Softbank purchase of Sprint expected to occur sometime tomorrow, once the Clearwire acquisition is cleared up.
This effectively brings to an end the entire acquisitions chain, which will see Softbank control Sprint, and in turn Clearwire. While Softbank executives may be able to relax slightly now that the acquisitions are all but completed, the purchases have impacted the Japanese carrier further.
Bloomberg reports that the Standards & Poors agency has cut the credit rating on the company from BBB to BB+, due to "exposure to intense competition in the US market." S&P states that it "expects its operating performance to improve gradually, in part reflecting cost reductions and other merger benefits." Japan Credit Rating Agency Ltd also says it may end up lowering Softbank's ranking to three steps above "junk," which could force the carrier to pay higher borrowing costs in the future.