Direct TV in $25 billion bid to foil Japanese giant's move on Sprint
In a bid to stop America's third largest cellphone network falling into Japanese control , the Satellite-TV provider Dish Network is making a $25.5 billion bid to take it over instead .
Sprint: Battle for conyrol
Dish said today it was offering $4.76 in cash and about $2.24 in Dish shares for every share of Sprint, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The deal is 13% better than Japanese company Softbank's proposal to buy 70% of Sprint for $20.1 billion, said Dish.
"Sprint is in play," Dish Chairman Charles Ergen told the WSJ in an interview. "We think we've made an offer that's much more compelling than the Softbank transaction."
Ergen would be the largest shareholder if the deal went through.
From Sprint and Softbank there was no comment.
The offer was "Ergen's most audacious attempt yet to move from the slow-growing pay-television business into the fast-evolving wireless industry," said the WSJ.
Ergen has approval from regulators to offer a land-based mobile-phone service. But he does not have a cellphone network. Sprint could be the answer.
Combining the companies would allow Dish to offer video, high-speed Internet and voice service across the country in one package . People could sign up for Internet service delivered wirelessly from Sprint cellphone towers to an antenna on their roof.
The WSJ said it was now up to the Sprint board to decide if Dish's bid is superior to Softbank's.
Softbank is a much larger company than Dish, with 32 million mobile subscribers in Japan - and could of course increase its offer.