ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronCrossEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinShapeCreated with Sketch.Icon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Business

SoftBank nearing deal for Sprint, T-Mobile merger

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has been lobbying Washington to get a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint approved.

TOKYO -- SoftBank has reached a basic agreement to acquire T-Mobile US from German parent Deutsche Telecom, paving the way for a merger between the fourth-ranked U.S. mobile carrier and rival Sprint.

     The two sides are still ironing out the details, and the deal needs clearance from U.S. regulators. Together, third-ranked Sprint, acquired by SoftBank last year, and T-Mobile have some 100 million U.S. subscribers, putting their combined customer base on par with those of Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

     The Japanese carrier plans to buy more than 50% of T-Mobile shares through Sprint from Deutsche Telekom, which owns a roughly 67% interest. SoftBank will pay cash and use stock swaps to cover the estimated purchase cost of more than 1.7 trillion yen ($16 billion).

     Eight financial institutions will bankroll the deal by setting credit lines of about 4 trillion yen. In addition to Japan's three megabanks, such foreign financial institutions as JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank will take part. To keep interest rates low, the SoftBank group is expected to first procure the funds through bridge loans, which will then be replaced with Sprint-issued corporate bonds and other long-term borrowing.

     SoftBank had more than 9 trillion yen in interest-bearing debt as of March 31. But the banks apparently have confidence in the telecommunication company's ability to repay loans, given its solid domestic wireless business.

     The U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice need to approve the deal, a process expected to take a year or two. Deutsche Telekom is concerned that T-Mobile's competitiveness will suffer if capital investment is put off during the screening period and the deal is not approved. It is asking SoftBank to compensate for the loss if this happens. The two sides apparently have not finalized several other conditions as well.

(Nikkei)

Get unique insights on Asia, the most dynamic market in the world.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media