Japanese mobile carrier Softbank Corp said Monday it had reached an agreement to pay 20.1 billion dollars for 70 per cent of shares in Sprint Nextel Corp, the third-largest US mobile company.
The deal will create one of the world's largest communications groups, with a total of 90 million mobile phone subscriptions.
Softbank, the vendor of Apple Inc's iPhone smartphones in Japan, taking advantage of the yen's appreciation, aims to expand its business through the acquisition in the US market.
Softbank will pay 8 billion dollars for newly issued Sprint stock and 12.1 billion dollars for additional shares in the market, the company said.
The deal is expected to complete the purchase by in mid-2013, Softbank said.
Four banks are making arrangements to provide loans for the company's acquisition, with Mizuho Corporate Bank shouldering 700 billion yen (8.9 billion dollars), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp 500 billion yen, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ 300 billion yen and Deutsche Bank 100 billion yen, the Kyodo News agency said, citing unnamed sources.
"Our track record of innovation, combined with Sprint's strong brand and local leadership, provides a constructive beginning toward creating a more competitive American mobile market," Softbank chairman and chief executive Masayoshi Son said.
Sprint chief executive Dan Hesse said, "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."
Softbank became Japan's third-largest mobile carrier by acquiring Vodafone Group's operations in the country in 2006.
Shares in Softbank plunged 5.3 per cent to 2,263 yen on Monday.
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