Softbank has officially announced that it is buying a 70 percent stake in US mobile carrier Sprint. The Japanese company is ponying up a total of $20.1 billion for the privilege.
Softbank is paying $12.1 billion to buy existing shares in Sprint, and a further $8 billion for new shares that the network is issuing. CNBC reports that the deal will net Sprint almost $3 billion in cash, which could help it improve its service and—fingers crossed—widen its LTE rollout.
According to the Verge, the "two companies' combined subscriber base will be one of the largest in the world, and will have the third highest mobile service revenue of any company worldwide". At the press conference which trumpeted the announcement, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse explained"
"This is a transformative transaction for Sprint that creates immediate value for our stockholders, while providing an opportunity to participate in the future growth of a stronger, better capitalized Sprint going forward. Our management team is excited to work with SoftBank to learn from their successful deployment of LTE in Japan as we build out our advanced LTE network, improve the customer experience and continue the turnaround of our operations."
While it's not clearly exactly how the deal will affect Sprint customers in the near future, the investment will likely see service and 4G support improve across the US. [Softbank]
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