Feb 20, 2020 - Technology

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

An illustration of a word search with Sprint and T-Mobile circled together
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.

Under the revised deal:

  • SoftBank will agree to reduce its stake, trading approximately 11 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile share, up from the originally agreed-upon 9.75 shares.
  • Other shareholders will get the original fixed exchange ratio of 0.10256 T-Mobile shares for each Sprint share, or the equivalent of approximately 9.75 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile share.
  • Upon close, Deutsche Telekom is expected to hold about 43% of shares, SoftBank about 24% and public shareholders about 33%.
  • The company said the revisions will have "no impact" on the cost savings, long-term profitability or cash generation expected under the merger.

Under the revised deal, SoftBank can get back some of its previously surrendered shares if T-Mobile reaches certain stock price targets.

The bigger picture: The new deal comes after a judge rejected a challenge from a number of states that had sought to block the deal on antitrust grounds.

California's Public Utilities Commission still has to approve the deal, while a judge also must sign off on a settlement reached with the Justice Department. That settlement will see the combined company sell some of its prepaid assets to Dish Network.

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