Sprint shareholders approve merger with SoftBank

Consummation of the deal expected in July.

New Statesman
Sprint Nextel logo. Credit: Getty Images.

Shareholders of Sprint Nextel Corporation have approved merger agreement with the Japanese telecommunications services provider SoftBank Corp.

Approximately 98 per cent of Sprint shareholders voted in favour of the agreement, representing about 80 per cent of its outstanding common stock as of 18 April 2013.

Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint, said: “Today is a historic day for our company, and I want to thank our shareholders for approving this transformative merger agreement. The transaction with SoftBank should enhance Sprint’s long-term value and competitive position by creating a company with greater financial flexibility.”

SoftBank will acquire 78 per cent stake in Sprint Nextel for £13.9bn ($21.6bn). New Sprint will own the remaining 22 per cent.

As per the approved deal, Sprint shareholders will receive either $7.65 in cash or one New Sprint common stock for each share of Sprint common stock held by them. The total cash consideration available to Sprint stockholders is $16.64bn.

The deal, which is subject to the approval of the Federal Communications Commission, is expected to be completed next month.

Sprint Nextel’s comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services will help SoftBank in expanding its services and coverage.

Earlier this month, Dish Network failed to submit its revised bid to acquire Sprint, clearing the way for the latter’s acquisition by SoftBank.