Monday, 21 August, 2017

Charter Disinterested in Sprint's Merger Bid

U.S. mobile network operator Sprint Corp is seen at a Sprint store in San Marcos California U.S. mobile network operator Sprint Corp is seen at a Sprint store in San Marcos California Thomson Reuters
Juana Turner | 30 July, 2017, 01:09

Softbank Group Corp, based in Japan, controls Sprint and proposed a transaction that would bring about a new entity that Softbank would control, said the source.

Sprint is looking to offer bundle deals to customers with cellular-phone service, TV, landline and broadband internet service, the Journal said.

The market capitalization for Charter is $94.6 billion, which is far more than that of Sprint, which ended trading on Friday with a value of $32.8 billion.

Earlier this evening, The Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son proposed a merger of his telecommunication company with Charter to form a publicly traded media and communications giant that would be controlled by Son's SoftBank.

In January, Verizon was exploring a merger with Charter.

Since the end of May, Charter and Comcast had been in exclusive talks with Sprint over possible deals, including one that would allow the cable companies to resell wireless service under their own brands. Charter and Comcast announced an agreement in May that bars either company from entering into a material transaction in wireless for a year without the other's consent.

Sprint share jumped 5% in after-hours trading on Friday after finishing at $8.22 during the regular session.

Sprint has been looking at solutions to further its turnaround, strengthen its financial health and better compete in the fierce United States wireless industry.

A Sprint - Charter combination would have seen the fourth-largest United States wireless carrier align with the No 2 U.S. cable company. "We're interested in focusing on our business and doing things in a methodical way at our pace and at our schedule", T-Mobile Chief Executive Officer John Legere said on a July 19 conference call. Sprint's efforts to match T-Mobile's aggressive pricing plans have hurt the bottom line and left Sprint with little to invest in its network after servicing its $35 billion debt load.

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