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.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
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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.