T-Mobile, Sprint amend merger terms, SoftBank takes a hit

T-Mobile, Sprint amend merger terms, SoftBank takes a hit

T- Mobile US and Sprint Corp are nearing an agreement on new merger terms and the final deal could be announced as soon as Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter.

FILE PHOTO: Smartphones with the logos of T-Mobile and Sprint are seen in this illustration
FILE PHOTO: Smartphones with the logos of T-Mobile and Sprint are seen in this illustration taken September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

REUTERS: T-Mobile US and Sprint Corp said on Thursday that they had agreed on new merger terms that would cut reduce the stake of major Sprint shareholder SoftBank, while leaving the offer to other shareholders unchanged.

Under the revised deal, SoftBank will hold about 24per cent of the combined entity, down from 27per cent under the earlier terms. T-Mobile's parent Deutsche Telekom will hold about 43per cent of the combined entity, up from the 42per cent that the German group would have held.

Shares of Sprint were up 5per cent to US$9.95, while T-Mobile fell 1.5per cent to US$98 in trading after the bell.

SoftBank has agreed to surrender about 48.8 million T-Mobile shares acquired in the merger to the new company after the deal closes, changing the exchange ratio to 11 Sprint shares for each T-Mobile share, higher than the originally agreed 9.75 shares.

Sprint shareholders other than SoftBank will continue to receive the original exchange ratio.

SoftBank can get the shares back if the combined company hits stock price milestones, the companies said without disclosing the details.

Sources said SoftBank agreed to the change to avoid delaying the close of the merger. If the ratio for the Sprint common shareholders was changed, a new fairness opinion and a shareholder vote may have been required, which could have delayed the close by four months.

The companies now hope to close on April 1.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

Last week, a federal judge approved the merger deal, rejecting a claim by a group of states that said the proposed transaction would violate antitrust laws and raise prices.

New York on Sunday dropped its fight against the merger of the U.S. wireless carriers, saying the state would not appeal the judge's approval of the deal.

Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Hoettges said on Wednesday the new T-Mobile would have a market value of around US$120 billion. That compares with US$274 billion for AT&T and US$242 billion for Verizon .

(Reporting by Neha Malara and Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Peter Henderson; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Cynthia Osterman)

Source: Reuters

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