SoftBank disregards Dish's $25 billion offer to buy Sprint



SoftBanks not afraid of Dish.
  • SoftBank's not afraid of Dish.

SoftBank, the Japanese telecom that thought it was all set to buy 70 percent of Sprint, is trying to act unfazed by yesterday's surprise news that satellite TV company Dish offered $25.5 billion in cash and stock to buy the Overland Park-based company.

Dish, which upped SoftBank's offer, said that if it acquired Sprint, it would be capable of offering TV, Internet service and phone to customers at home and away from home. Tuesday, SoftBank released a statement basically saying, "Pshh. Whatever, Dish. We called dibs." The company said it still plans on completing the transaction July 1.

Here's SoftBank's entire statement addressing Dish's offer:

SoftBank believes that the agreed terms of our transaction with Sprint offer Sprint shareholders superior short and long term benefits to DISH's highly conditional preliminary proposal. The SoftBank-Sprint transaction is in the advanced stages of receiving the necessary approvals and we expect to consummate the transaction on July 1, 2013 with the terms already agreed.

In a letter filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission announcing the proposed deal, Dish chairman Charlie Ergen explained why he thought the Colorado-based company had the better bid.

"The cash portion of our proposal represents an 18% premium over the $4.03 per share implied by the SoftBank proposal, and the equity portion represents approximately 32% ownership in the combined DISH/Sprint versus SoftBank's proposal of a 30% interest in Sprint alone. Together this represents a 13% premium to the value of the existing SoftBank proposal," he wrote.

Dish's appearance is already proving to be a headache for SoftBank, whose shares lost 6.8 percent of their value today. But it won't be all bad for SoftBank, Japan's third-biggest carrier, even if they lose to Dish. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company will make $4 billion from hedging and bonds it invested in when the merger process began.

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