Sprint-SoftBank $21.6B deal scheduled to close this week

The Sprint-SoftBank merger is almost a done deal. Finally.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

After months of twists and turns, the merger of Japanese cellular giant SoftBank and with U.S. wireless provider Sprint is going to wrap up this week.

SoftBank issued a very brief statement on Monday, nailing the date down for this Wednesday. Here's the announcement in full (not counting the typical cautionary details about forward-looking statements):

SoftBank Corp. will invest approximately USD 21.6 billion (approximately JPY 1.8 trillion*) in Sprint Nextel Corporation and currently anticipates consummating the transaction on July 10, 2013 (EDT). For details of the transaction refer to the press release titled “Strategic Acquisition of Sprint by SoftBank” dated October 15, 2012 (partial amendment announced on June 11, 2013).

It looks like both parties are moving full throttle on this one given that the Federal Communications Commission only approved the $21.6 billion deal last Friday.

However, that news came after months upon months of waiting for decision from the government agency.

Last October, SoftBank bought a 70 percent stake in Sprint for $20.1 billion. At the time, it was expected that the deal would close (subject to regulatory approval) by mid-2013.

Analysts had previously predicted that the federal agency would issue a ruling as soon as May. However, that was obviously wishful thinking as the last few months have come and gone with nary a peep on the matter.

Friday's ruling noted that the original bid has been was modified in early June.

SoftBank bumped up the original offer to $16.64 billion with now 78 percent ownership in Sprint. While the direct investment has been lowered to $5 billion, the overall value of the deal is still higher at $21.6 billion.

Sprint shareholders approved the revised bid.

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