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Sprint Shareholders Give $21.6B SoftBank Deal Thumbs-Up

Japan’s SoftBank Corp. appears to have won the takeover fight for Sprint Nextel Corp.

On Tuesday, Sprint shareholders voted in favor of SoftBank’s increased offer from $20.1 billion to $21.6 billion plus more cash for investors; SoftBank had upped its bid on June 10 to edge out DISH Networks and get the support of Paulson & Co., Sprint’s second-largest shareholder.  

The strategy worked. DISH has since bowed out, even though it was offering $25 billion for Sprint, the No. 3 wireless provider in the United States. Now, SoftBank just needs the FCC’s approval to close the acquisition, which, Sprint said in a statement, should happen in early July. Once that happens, SoftBank will own 78 percent of Sprint, which will mark Japan’s biggest takeover of an overseas company, according to reports.

Meanwhile, the pending deal also impacts Sprint’s intended purchase of Clearwire Corp. Sprint had to raise its offer for that operator from $3.40 per share to $5 per share to fight off DISH’s $4.40 bid. Clearwire shareholders are slated to vote on July 8.


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