Softbank ups Sprint offer to $21.6B

As Dish and SoftBank duke it out to merge with Sprint, SoftBank raises its offer by $1.5 billion.

Masayoshi Son, SoftBank's CEO. Stephen Shankland/CNET

As the battle between SoftBank and Dish in the takeover of Sprint increasingly heats up, SoftBank has announced that it will raise its offer to from $20.1 billion to $21.6 billion.

SoftBank said Monday that the amended merger agreement will give shareholders a greater value, including greater cash consideration and increased certainty.

Under the new agreement SoftBank said it will deliver an additional $4.5 billion of cash to Sprint stockholders at closing, which brings the total cash consideration available to Sprint stockholders to $16.64 billion. This offer would also give SoftBank a higher stake in Sprint -- going from approximately 70 percent to 78 percent.

"The amended agreement announced today delivers more upfront cash to Sprint stockholders, while still achieving our goal of creating a well-capitalized Sprint that is better positioned to bring meaningful competition to the US market," SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said in a statement. "Our transaction offers significant value for Sprint stockholders and the opportunity to realize that value in just a few weeks, without the risks associated with any other potential transaction."

Sprint has been in talks with SoftBank since last October regarding a $20.1 billion offer. But, as the closing date neared, Dish came in with a surprise counteroffer of $25.5 billion. The two companies have carried out a public war of words , each claiming it would be the best buyer for the troubled wireless carrier.

Sprint shareholders were scheduled to vote Wednesday on a SoftBank takeover but the revised merger agreement creates a new deadline of June 18, 2013 for Dish to provide its "best and final" offer.

CNET contacted Dish for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.

About the author

Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.

 

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