T-Mobile US CEO John Legere has reportedly reached out to Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure in an effort to keep the proposed merger of the two carriers on the table. The companies have been in discussions for weeks, but have apparently been unable to agree on a deal price or on who would control the merged entity. Now T-Mobile is said to be revising its offer to Sprint.
With a market valuation that’s twice as high as Sprint’s, T-Mobile US is expected to be the acquiring company. T-Mobile’s largest shareholder, Deutsche Telekom, would presumably have majority ownership of Sprint. But Sprint parent SoftBank may not be willing to cede control.
SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son has been interested in a T-Mobile merger ever since his company bought Sprint in 2014, but at that time he probably saw SoftBank as the controlling shareholder. Now he may need to relinquish some control to get the deal done.
T-Mobile’s board may be ready to compromise. John Legere, the outspoken CEO who has been the public face of the company’s highly successful marketing campaigns, is apparently talking directly to Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. It is unclear whether or not parallel discussions are taking place between Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank.
Meanwhile, SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son has reportedly reached out to Charter Communications to discuss merging Sprint and Charter. Charter has previously said it does not want to buy Sprint. The cable company is currently preparing to launch a wireless service on Verizon’s network early next year.
Sprint’s shares spiked at the beginning of the trading day on Wall Street, but soon gave up some of those gains. Shares of T-Mobile US were up less than 1%.
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