SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son expressed confidence that his company’s bid to acquire Sprint should wrap up by early July now that Dish has officially thrown in the towel on its bid for Sprint.
Still, Reuters reported that Son warned the crowd at SoftBank’s annual shareholders meeting that Dish could still make a move before the June 25 Sprint shareholders vote.
However, Dish has filed an 8-K with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission declaring it had abandoned its efforts to acquire Sprint Nextel Corporation. As a result, Dish DBS has given notice to redeem a number of senior notes, effectively giving back to investors $2.6 billion in funding that had been raised toward its Sprint bid. The senior notes due 2023, accounting for $1.35 billion, will be redeemed at 101 percent meaning that those investors will profit.
Regardless if SoftBank thinks Dish is officially in or out, Son was still looking ahead to his company’s future with Sprint. Son said that reductions in cash for Sprint under the new deal—from $8 billion to $5 billion—would be offset by savings for the new company of approximately $2 billion a year for the next four years.
SoftBank must also be relieved that Sprint has once again seized the upper hand in the battle to buy Clearwire and take control of its valuable spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. Clearwire had shifted its recommendation toward Dish’s $4.40 per share tender offer, but Sprint yesterday swooped in with a $5 per share offer to buy out the remaining half of Clearwire it doesn’t already own. Clearwire agreed to the new deal and Dish has thus far been quiet.