Cable operator Charter Communications® said that they are not interested in acquiring the US wireless provider, Sprint® Corp. Now the majority owner of Sprint® Corp, SoftBank® Group Corp, will have to find other ways to negotiate a merger.
A merger between Sprint® and Charter® would have lead to the formation of the fastest internet provider that will be capable of offering a one-stop solution for all users who are searching for mobile and internet services. In addition, the combined will have a stronger footing to make infrastructure that is necessary for the 5G wireless technology.
Chief Executive Officer of SoftBank®, Masayoshi Son made an acquisition offer for Charter®; however, Charter® declined the offer. “We understand why a deal is attractive for SoftBank®, but Charter® has no interest in acquiring Sprint,” a Charter® representative said.
The potential bid of SoftBank® for Charter® will follow the conclusion of the 2 months negotiations with Comcast® and Charter® over Sprint® serving as their mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which allows them to use its network infrastructure to provide wireless based internet services.
“We have a very good MVNO relationship with Verizon Communications® Inc and intend to launch wireless services to cable customers next year,” the Charter® spokesman added. The interest of SoftBank® in Charter Communications® also shows that they are in the search of alternatives to have a strong hand in the negotiations with T-Mobile®. “This could be a way to gain leverage in a T-Mobile deal,” Amy Yong, a Macquarie analyst said about the pursuit of Charter® by Son.
The bid for Charter® by SoftBank®, with a market capitalization of 90.3 billion dollars (9.9 trillion yen) can be a stretch for their finances, say analysts. The market capitalization of Sprint® is just 32.8 billion dollars and has about same amount in debt.
The bid for Charter® made by SoftBank® Group offering them majority control on the deal will need raising many billions of dollars in new debt and may push them to leverage their assets like 43% stake in the Yahoo® Japan Corp and 29.5% share in the Chinese business Alibaba® Group Holding Ltd. The price expectations of the largest shareholder of Charter®, Liberty Broadband Corp. of Jomnh Malone will also be a big hurdle for SoftBank®. However, these might not be needed now as Charter® has declined the deal from SoftBank®.