Tags: Japan | Softbank | rating | cut

S&P Cuts Softbank Rating After Sprint Deal Clears

Monday, 08 Jul 2013 10:39 AM

Standard & Poor's has cut Softbank's credit rating to reflect increased financial risks following clearance of its $21.6 billion acquisition of Sprint Nextel Corp.

S&P said Monday it cut Softbank's rating to BB+, which is the highest junk grade rating, from BBB. Softbank shares fell 3.4 percent in Tokyo.

The ratings agency says Softbank's debt will increase substantially as a result of buying 78 percent of Sprint.

The Federal Communications Commission approved the Sprint deal on Friday.

S&P says Sprint, the third biggest U.S. wireless carrier, has weak cash-flow and high debt while Sprint's acquisition of Clearwire will add to the financial burden on Japan's Softbank.

But S&P expects Sprint's profitability to improve under its new owner and says Softbank is supported by its strong market position in Japan.

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