We've heard rumors that Sprint is considering outbidding T-Mobile for MetroPCS's affection. Just in case that doesn't work, though, Sprint wants us to know that there is another plan in the works: being purchased by Softbank. Since most of you likely aren't up to date on Japanese telecoms, here's the deal: Softbank is a Japanese telecom. The third largest wireless carrier in the country, so a bit of a kindred spirit with Sprint. Now, the Japanese company may be interested in purchasing big yellow. Rumors broke earlier today, and now Sprint has sent out this brief press release to confirm:
Sprint (NYSE: S) today confirmed that it is currently engaged in discussions with Softbank regarding a potential substantial investment by Softbank in Sprint. Although there can be no assurances that these discussions will result in any transaction or on what terms any transaction may occur, such a transaction could involve a change of control of Sprint. Sprint does not intend to comment further unless and until an agreement is reached.
Of course, this doesn't mean much for certain. As Sprint is quick to point out, a deal hasn't been reached. However, it would make a certain degree of sense. Softbank has been buying up plenty of companies lately, and did a marvelous job of turning around Vodafone's Japanese business after its acquisition. Previous rumors implied that the company wanted to purchase up to "two thirds" of Sprint's stock. Substantial investment indeed.
A change in leadership and influx of money could be a huge boon for Sprint. The company has struggled under the weight of AT&T and Verizon's dominance. The Now Network has done everything it can to keep customers, including holding on to its unlimited data plans, even at the expense of a variety of other programs. It's unclear just how new leadership might affect what the company decides to keep or cut. However, a sudden injection of large amounts of cash could be just what the doctor ordered to keep Sprint afloat long enough to get its LTE network up to speed.
Pun cruelly intended.