Sprint shareholders approve Softbank offer

Shareholders in US operator Sprint have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a takeover bid from Japan’s Softbank. Approximately 98 per cent of shareholders voted for the merger after the Japanese firm increased the value of its offer earlier this month by $1.5bn to $21.6bn.

Softbank’s share in New Sprint (the holding company which will own Sprint) will be 78 per cent.

“Today is a historic day for our company, and I want to thank our shareholders for approving this transformative merger agreement,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse.

“The transaction with SoftBank should enhance Sprint’s long-term value and competitive position by creating a company with greater financial flexibility.”

Sprint’s board of directors had already ended negotiations over a potential takeover by US satellite provider Dish Networks on the basis that Dish did not “put forward an actionable offer”

Meanwhile, the board of US wimax player Clearwire, which is majority owned by Sprint, unanimously voted to recommend a takeover offer from Dish Network earlier this month, rather than a rival offer from Sprint. However, Sprint has filed a lawsuit in a bid to block the acquisition. The suit alleges that Dish’s tender offer for Clearwire is unactionable.

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