The fight for Sprint Nextel’s hand looks to have just gone personal as Japan’s Softbank returned fire in its attempt to purchase a controlling stake in the U.S. industry’s No. 3 operator. That attempt is being challenged by Dish Networks, which is controlled by its co-founder and chairman Charlie Ergen.
In backing the claim that its bid was superior to that of Dish, Softbank laid out a number of numbers, as well as a dig at Dish’s corporate structure. In comparing the “governance” structure of their respective companies, Softbank labeled its as “shareholder protection” while Dish was “Ergen-dominated.”
As for the numbers, Softbank released a report today highlighting what it called 11 key areas as to the superiority of its proposed $20.1 billion purchase of a 70% stake in Sprint Nextel, that it claims equates to a 21% premium over the Dish Networks offer, which Dish valued at $25.5 billion for a 68% stake. Those advantages include less leverage for the combined operations and a superior capital structure that will allow Sprint Nextel to continue unhindered with its current network upgrade program. Softbank claims that its leverage, or debt ratio, when combined with Sprint Nextel will be at 3x compared with 5.9x if Sprint Nextel were to accept Dish’s offer.
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