SoftBank, Deutsche Telekom Discussing T-Mobile Buyout
Jan 19, 2014, 10:06 AM by Eric M. Zeman
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has begun active talks with Deutsche Telekom on how to acquire T-Mobile. According to sources cited by Bloomberg, the two companies are exploring the best way to structure such a deal. Unresolved issues include how much cash and stock SoftBank will pay, as well as how best to integrate the two companies, and what sort of break-up fees might be assigned. Deutsche Telekom wants all cash for the deal, but SoftBank wants to use both cash and stock. T-Mobile's market value is about $26 billion and SoftBank already has assurances from a handful of banks that they'll finance the deal. Son is reluctant to agree to break-up fees, as SoftBank has already taken on a lot of debt to buy Sprint. Last, the companies hope to structure the deal so that it meets as little resistance as possible from federal regulators, which are sure to scrutinize the deal closely. Bloomberg says that Sprint's management is not party to the talks, but CEO Dan Hesse knew Son wanted to buy T-Mobile when he agreed to sell a large equity stake of Sprint to SoftBank. The boards of SoftBank, Deutsche Telekom, Sprint, and T-Mobile will need to approve any deal.
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