Acquisition Scenarios Abound as SoftBank is “Open” to Sprint Sale
The future of Sprint could be anything, said the carrier’s chairman, Masayoshi Son. Son is also the CEO of SoftBank Group Corp., which owns more than 80 percent of Sprint’s shares. “There are so many options available, and we are looking into that. We are open for any options,” he explained via an interpreter on February 8, at a quarterly meeting in Tokyo. Those options could also include purchasing T-Mobile, a business SoftBank attempted to buy in 2014, before it was rejected by U.S. regulators.
The Chicago Tribune reported Son’s company acquired Sprint in 2013, and made the decision to turn around the carrier’s weak financial status on its own since companies were leery of the mobile provider. “Now, we may buy, we may sell, maybe simple merger,” Son said. Few details have left the future of Sprint and T-Mobile in question. Wells Fargo Securities analyst Jennifer Fritzsche wrote to clients after the meeting, “We don’t know the answer, but it is hard for us to see Softbank taking a minority position in a combined entity given [that] the momentum in Sprint is only just being seen.” Other analysts report it is likely Comcast or Charter could purchase T-Mobile, Sprint or Dish Network to compete with AT&T and Verizon.