Who wants 'New Sprint' shares? Not many Sprint shareholders

With the SoftBank merger looming, holders of just 3 percent of shares in Sprint elect to remain Sprint shareholders.

Sprint's merger deal with SoftBank might have received shareholder approval, but it appears the majority of those people have no desire to see what happens post-merger.

Sprint announced Monday that out of the more than 3 billion shares of Sprint stock outstanding, holders of 97 percent of those shares will be cashing out in the deal, rather than receiving shares in the "New Sprint."

For the deal's closing, which is scheduled to take place on July 10, current holders of just 3 percent of Sprint shares have chosen to retain possession of the company's stock. Meanwhile, holders of 53 percent of shares actively elected to receive cash, and holders of 44 percent made no election and thus have been deemed by the companies to have elected the cash option.

But here is where things get a little messy. More of Sprint's shareholders than expected opted to cash out. Sprint and SoftBank had previously decided to keep $16.64 billion in cash in reserve to pay off any shareholders who wanted out. Because the deal was "oversubscribed," Sprint now needs to offer a hybrid deal to all shareholders who only wanted cash.

According to Sprint, when the deal closes on Wednesday, those who elected to receive cash will earn $5.65 and .26 shares of New Sprint common stock for every share they currently own. The 3 percent of shareholders who currently hold Sprint stock will receive a single share in New Sprint for each Sprint share they currently own.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.


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