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Dish Abandons Sprint Acquisition Effort

21 Jun, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Satellite TV operator had sought to create wireless device network incorporating Blockbuster stores as retail outlets

Dish Network June 21 formally withdrew its efforts to acquire Sprint Nextel Corp., and, as a result, will redeem more than $2.5 billion in debt it had issued to fund the acquisition.

Dish, which had been in a bidding war with Softbank to acquire Sprint, folded its hand after Softbank raised its bid to $5 a share — a 14% premium on Dish’s $4.40 per share offer for the telecommunications giant.

Meanwhile, Sprint also upped its bid to $5 per share for wireless spectrum provider Clearwire, again trumping a separate bid by Dish.

“The $5-per-share transaction with Sprint represents the best path forward for [Clearwire] and is in the best interest of our unaffiliated stockholders,” Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch said in a statement.

Dish had sought to combine Clearwire and Sprint into a nationwide wireless network for portable media devices — the latter sold at Blockbuster stores.

In a June 18 statement, Dish said Sprint’s decision to prematurely terminate its due diligence process had made it impracticable to submit a revised offer by that day’s deadline.

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