Reports indicate that Sprint’s decision about a merger is coming “in the near future,” according to Sprint’s chief executive.
“We’ve had sufficient conversations with several parties and soon we’re going to start making decisions,” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said in an August 1 call.
The offer being considered by Sprint and its parent company, SoftBank, would form a new publicly traded company, and SoftBank money would be used to buy out shareholders of Sprint and Charter. SoftBank would then control the combined company.
But the day before, Charter said it did not want to buy Sprint.
“We understand why a deal is attractive for SoftBank, but Charter has no interest in acquiring Sprint,” the cable company said in a statement.
Charter said it already has a deal with Verizon to buy data allotments in bulk and resell them as wireless plans. It also said it plans to “launch wireless services to cable customers next year.”
In May, Charter and Comcast agreed to work together on a similar wireless offering.
On the other hand, a possible merger between Sprint and T-Mobile US has also been mentioned. The wireless carrier has even argued that a merger with T-Mobile makes sense because it would create a bigger company that could compete more closely with Verizon and AT&T.
T-Mobile said that it doesn’t feel any pressure to do a deal now that Sprint is talking to other potential partners. “We’re interested in focusing on our business and doing things in a methodical way at our pace and at our schedule,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a July 19 conference call.
Telecom analyst Craig Moffett told the Wall Street Journal that he was concerned that investors might not be too enamored of Sprint, in spite of the fact that it recorded its first quarterly profit in three years, if a deal doesn’t happen soon.
“The obvious risk in so openly courting one potential suitor after another is that Sprint will increasingly be viewed as damaged goods,” Moffett wrote in a research note to analysts. “Like an unsold house that has sat too long on the market, an asset that has been shopped too often without success takes on an air of taint.”
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