[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

SoftBank and Sprint Nextel have entered into a series of definitive agreements under which SoftBank will invest $20.1 billion in Sprint, consisting of $12.1 billion to be distributed to Sprint stockholders and $8.0 billion of new capital to strengthen Sprint’s balance sheet. Through this transaction, approximately 55% of current Sprint shares will be exchanged for $7.30 per share in cash, and the remaining shares will convert into shares of a new publicly traded entity, New Sprint. Following closing, SoftBank will own approximately 70% and Sprint equity holders will own approximately 30% of the shares of New Sprint on a fully-diluted basis.

The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both SoftBank and Sprint. Completion of the transaction is subject to Sprint stockholder approval, customary regulatory approvals and the satisfaction or waiver of other closing conditions. The companies expect the closing of the merger transaction to occur in mid-2013.

Transaction Terms

  • SoftBank will form a new U.S. subsidiary, New Sprint, which will invest $3.1 billion in a newly-issued Sprint convertible senior bond. The convertible bond will have a 7-year term and 1.0% coupon rate, and will be convertible, subject to regulatory approval, into Sprint common stock at $5.25 per share. Immediately prior to the merger, the bond will be converted into shares of Sprint, which will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Sprint.
  • Following Sprint stockholder and regulatory approval, and the satisfaction or waiver of the other closing conditions to the merger transaction, SoftBank will further capitalize New Sprint with an additional $17 billion and effect a merger transaction in which New Sprint will become a publicly-traded company and Sprint will survive as its wholly-owned subsidiary. Of the $17 billion, $4.9 billion will be used to purchase newly issued common shares of New Sprint at $5.25 per share. The remaining $12.1 billion will be distributed to Sprint stockholders in exchange for approximately 55% of currently outstanding shares. The other 45% of currently outstanding shares will convert into shares of New Sprint. SoftBank will also receive a warrant to purchase 55 million additional Sprint shares at an exercise price of $5.25 per share.
  • Pursuant to the merger, holders of outstanding shares of Sprint common stock will have the right to elect between receiving $7.30 per Sprint share or one share of New Sprint stock per Sprint share, subject to proration. Holders of Sprint equity awards will receive equity awards in New Sprint.
  • Post-transaction, SoftBank will own approximately 70% and Sprint equity holders will own approximately 30% of New Sprint shares on a fully-diluted basis.
  • SoftBank is financing the transaction through a combination of cash on hand and a syndicated financing facility.
  • The transaction does not require Sprint to take any actions involving Clearwire Corporation other than those set forth in agreements Sprint has previously entered into with Clearwire and certain of its shareholders.

After closing, Sprint’s headquarters will continue to be in Overland Park, Kansas. New Sprint will have a 10-member board of directors, including at least three members of Sprint’s board of directors. Mr. Hesse will continue as CEO of New Sprint and as a board member.

The Raine Group  and Mizuho Securities acted as lead financial advisors to SoftBank. Mizuho Corporate Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi,  and Deutsche Bank , Tokyo Branch acted as mandated lead arrangers to SoftBank. Deutsche Bank also provided financial advice to SoftBank in connection with this transaction. SoftBank’s legal advisors included Morrison & Foerster as lead counsel, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto as Japanese counsel, Dow Lohnes  as regulatory counsel, Potter Anderson Corroon  as Delaware counsel, and Foulston & Siefkin  as Kansas counsel.

Citigroup Global Markets, Rothschild  and UBS Investment Bank acted as co-lead financial advisors. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom acted as lead counsel to Sprint. Lawler, Metzger, Keeney and Logan served as regulatory counsel, and Polsinelli Shughart  served as Kansas counsel.