June 11 (Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Corp. raised its offer for Sprint Nextel Corp. by 7.5 percent, countering Dish Network Corp.’s unsolicited proposal of $25.5 billion for the third- largest U.S. wireless carrier.
SoftBank will pay $16.6 billion to Sprint shareholders and inject $5 billion of new capital into the target company for a 78 percent stake, the Tokyo-based mobile-phone carrier said in a statement today. That compares with the company’s October offer of $20.1 billion for a 70 percent stake.
SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son was forced to raise his offer after his ambition to expand Japan’s third-largest mobile carrier in the U.S. was threatened by Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen. The U.S. company is trying to break into the wireless- phone market and allow it to offer a bundle of television, Internet and mobile services.
“Raising the bidding price will add to the burden of financing the deal,” Mitsushige Akino, chief fund manager at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. in Tokyo, said before the announcement. “If SoftBank’s proposal doesn’t go through, that will ruin the company’s plan to expand in the U.S.”
SoftBank fell as much as 2.9 percent to 5,360 yen in Tokyo and traded at 5,450 as of 9:14 a.m.
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