The Nation’s third largest carrier, Sprint, is now one step closer to becoming Japanese owned. Sprint—who’s corporate offices are located in the heartland of America, in Kansas City—has been entertaining offers for a buyout from SoftBank, as well as a few other suitors (Dish Network), but today, Sprint’s shareholders have “overwhelmingly” given their approval (98%) to the merger, or more accurately, acquisition by the Japanese company, SoftBank.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, says that he believes the deal will be finalized by early July. While Sprint would like us to believe that nothing will change in terms of day to day operations and customer service plans, we all know that is PR fluff. While the changes may not be immediate, you can almost bet SoftBank has their agenda in place to make Sprint turn a more substantial profit, which may see the end of unlimited data. Of course that is only speculation on my part, but I do believe we’ll see some significant changes at least after the first year.
Sprint has released the following PR statement:
Sprint Shareholders Overwhelmingly Approve Merger Agreement with SoftBank
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), June 25, 2013 – Sprint Nextel Corporation (“Sprint”) (NYSE: S) shareholders voted today to approve and adopt the previously announced merger agreement providing for a substantial investment by SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) (TSE: 9984). Sprint shareholders overwhelmingly approved the deal, with approximately 98 percent of the votes cast at today’s special shareholders meeting voting in favor of the merger agreement, representing approximately 80 percent of Sprint’s outstanding common stock as of April 18, 2013, the record date for the special meeting.
“Today is a historic day for our company, and I want to thank our shareholders for approving this transformative merger agreement,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. “The transaction with SoftBank should enhance Sprint’s long-term value and competitive position by creating a company with greater financial flexibility.”
Consummation of the Sprint-SoftBank transaction remains subject to the receipt of the Federal Communications Commission approval. Sprint and SoftBank anticipate the merger will be consummated in early July 2013.
As previously announced, Sprint stockholders will have the option to elect to receive cash in the amount of $7.65 or one of New Sprint common stock for each share of Sprint common stock owned by them (subject to the previously disclosed proration provisions in the merger agreement). The total cash consideration available to Sprint stockholders is $16.64 billion. Pro forma for the transaction, the current Sprint stockholders’ resulting equity ownership in a stronger, more competitive New Sprint will be 22 percent while SoftBank will own approximately 78 percent. Sprint and SoftBank have previously mailed to Sprint shareholders forms of election and related instructions and established 5:00 p.m., New York time, on July 5, 2013 as the election deadline, subject to extension.