T-Mobile, Sprint Merger Modified
Deutsche Telekom came away the winner in a renegotiated agreement for T-Mobile US and Sprint’s proposed merger, which will see it take a larger stake in the combined company.
The German incumbent had been tipped to be seeking an amendment to the original deal to reflect recent weakness in Sprint’s performance, with pressure mounting after a US court threw out a bid by US attorney generals to block the tie-up.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere in a statement hailed the revision as “another significant step forward toward finally closing this transaction,” adding “we are now on the threshold of achieving our goal”.
As part of the new arrangement, Sprint parent SoftBank Group agreed to surrender 48.8 million T-Mobile shares to be acquired in the merger to New T-Mobile immediately after the deal closes, effectively agreeing to a new exchange ratio of approximately 11 Sprint shares for each share of T-Mobile stock compared with 9.75 previously.
At close, SoftBank will hold a 24 per cent stake in the combined company, down from 27 per cent in the original agreement. T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom will come away with a 43 per cent stake, up from 42 per cent, with the remaining 33 per cent held by “public shareholders”.
However, SoftBank will have an opportunity to regain some ground if the combined company’s stock hits certain price targets.
Board director, EVP and COO of SoftBank Marcelo Claure said the company has “full confidence that it will recover all of the surrendered shares” given the “proven execution capabilities of the combined Sprint and T-Mobile teams”.
Executives previously said the transaction could close as soon as 1 April, though with the new deal came a new expiry date of 1 July.
While the recent court decision appeared to signal the deal was clear to proceed, the companies are still waiting for a federal judge to sign-off on merger conditions proposed by the US Department of Justice, along with approval from the California Public Utilities Commission.-Mobile World Live