SoftBank, Sprint Wrap Up $21.6B Merger Deal

SoftBank and Sprint complete merger

As expected, SoftBank and Sprint completed their merger on Wednesday. The US$21.6 billion deal landed SoftBank 72 percent of Sprint's shares and saw the formation of a new company called Sprint Corporation.

Sprint shareholders get $16.6 billion of SoftBank's $21.6 billion, and $5 billion will go to shore up Sprint's balance sheet.

SoftBank announced its plans to buy Sprint in October 2012. After Sprint shareholders approved the deal, the two companies won FCC approval to move forward in early July.

When SoftBank publicly confirmed the deal last year, company CEO Masayoshi Son said,

This transaction provides an excellent opportunity for SoftBank to leverage its expertise in smartphones and next-generation high speed networks, including LTE, to drive the mobile internet revolution in one of the world's largest markets.

SoftBank's investment gives Sprint a financial boost to expand its LTE network rollout faster and shore up its position as the third largest cell service provider in the United States behind AT&T and Verizon.

As part of the deal, SoftBank is paying $7.65 a share for Sprint's stock, and shareholders have the option of taking a single share in the new Sprint Corporation, or cash for each share they currently hold.

Sprint Corporation will trade under the "S" symbol on the New York Stock Exchange starting today.

The deal is good news for iPhone and other smartphone owners looking for alternatives to AT&T and Verizon since Sprint now has the cash to improve its wireless coverage and ramp up its fast LTE network sooner than it otherwise could have managed.