SoftBank has been on a buying spree since Sprint/T-Mobile US merger talks were scrapped
Based on a Friday filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, SoftBank and its subsidiaries Galaxy Investment Holdings Inc. and Starburst I Inc. have increased ownership stake in the U.S. carrier to a little more than 84% or 3.41 billion shares.
Following the Nov. 6 breakdown of long-gestating merger talks, the Japanese conglomerate has spent about $276.5 million on Sprint stock, increasing its ownership stake from 83% to 84.1%, according to Seeking Alpha. The financial analysis firm opined that “SoftBank’s longtime approach to keep building equity in Sprint is likely to slow down, as its ownership inches closer to an 85% threshold that would delist Sprint’s stock.” The company can buy around 36.4 million more shares, listed on Wednesday morning at $5.93 per share, before hitting the delisting limit, according to Seeking Alpha.
According to the SEC filing, “SoftBank currently expects Galaxy to make further purchases of Sprint common stock. However, SoftBank expects that such purchases will not increase SoftBank’s beneficial ownership in Sprint to 85% or more of the outstanding shares of Sprint common stock.”
Like Sprint, T-Mobile US is primarily owned by German telecom operator Deutsche Telekom. On Nov. 6 SoftBank Chairman Masayoshi Son called the talks with DT off after the two sides couldn’t agree on terms regarding pricing and corporate governance of a combined entity.
“We are entering an era where billions of new connected devices and sensors will come online throughout the United States,” Son said at the time. “Sprint is a critical part of our plan to ensure that we can deliver our vision to American consumers, and we are very confident in its future.”