The plot is thickening on the Sprint-Softbank talks. David Faber on CNBC has said that talks between Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) and Softbank are advanced, but they are for a stake with a value of some $12.8 billion. What David Faber is saying is that Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ: CLWR) would be taken over as part of the deal as Softbank's ambition here seems to be after spectrum. Faber said that a deal is not done but could come within the next week or two.
Another thing that David Faber said was that the deal originally was considered a three-way deal that included Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA, but ultimately that deal fell apart because T-Mobile was too worried about antitrust measures coming into play. After the deal with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was blocked by regulators, it is easy enough to understand why the Germans had some reservation about trying to proceed.
Clearwire shares are now up 30% at $1.69 in active premarket trading. Again, the terms of a deal are still outstanding, so there is no way to know exactly what sort of premium would be there for a 75% or so stake of Sprint Nextel. There is also no way to know if the Clearwire deal is truly a part of it as a real takeover or whether it is just an expanded pact.
JON C. OGG