Sprint's long-running sale saga moved a step
closer to completion Tuesday when shareholders overwhelmingly
approved a 21.6-billion-dollar takeover by Japan's Softbank.
The vote means that the deal for the third-largest US mobile carrier will now head to the Federal Communications Commission for approval, which is expected by next month, Sprint said in a statement. Some 80 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the deal, Sprint said.
"Today is a historic day for our company," said Sprint chief executive Dan Hesse. "The transaction with SoftBank should enhance Sprint's long-term value and competitive position by creating a company with greater financial flexibility."
Under the terms of the deal, SoftBank will pay 7.64 dollars per share, for a total 16.64 billion dollars in cash, and invest about 5 billion dollars of new capital into Sprint. It will own 78 per cent of the new company, which trails leading mobile providers Verizon and AT&T.
Softbank's offer for Sprint had been challenged by US satellite TV company Dish Network, which pulled its bid last week.
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