Deals

Japan’s Softbank reportedly eyeing Sprint for $12.8B (update: Sprint confirms talks)

Successful CMOs achieve growth by leveraging technology. Join us for GrowthBeat Summit on June 1-2 in Boston, where we'll discuss how to merge creativity with technology to drive growth. Space is limited. Request your personal invitation here!

sprint store

Update: Sprint has confirmed that it’s in discussions with Softbank, but notes that it may not result in a deal. Original story below.

Under pressure from its three major U.S. carrier competitors (especially after the proposed MetroPCS and T-Mobile merger), Sprint may be courting a takeover offer from Japan’s third-largest carrier Softbank.

The Japanese carrier is reportedly aiming to acquire Sprint for more than 1 trillion yen, or about $12.8 billion, reports Reuters. At the same time, Japanese newspaper Nikkei is reporting that the deal may be worth more than 1.5 trillion yen, or around $19.8 billion.

At this point, the deal looks like a total acquisition, though Softbank may just end up holding a majority stake in Sprint. Either way, it’s a big change for the third-place U.S. carrier, which has more than 56 million subscribers as of June.

Sprint practically bet the entire company to get the iPhone, reportedly spending around $20 billion to do so. That gamble helped Sprint avoid bleeding subscribers like T-Mobile, but now that the company also rapidly needs to deploy its LTE network, it could certainly use some additional capital. Sprint reported a $1.4 billion loss in its last earnings report in June, mainly due to LTE deployment.

Photo via Consumerist’s Flickr


VentureBeat’s VB Insight team is studying marketing analytics... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.