The combination of T-Mobile US(s tmus) and Sprint(s s) may be a horribly misguided idea and a potential lodestone on U.S. mobile competition to boot, but apparently it’s getting closer to becoming reality.
Bloomberg and several other news outlets are reporting that Sprint and T-Mobile — and their primary owners SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom — are close to arriving at the specific terms. DT was holding out for $40 a share, while SoftBank was offering a price in the upper thirties, so the two have settled on a price near $39 a share, Bloomberg sources said, though they didn’t reveal a specific number.
At that valuation, T-Mobile would be worth $31.3 billion, and once you factored in its debt and cash, the cost of buying T-Mobile would rise to about $40.8 billion, Bloomberg pointed out. The deal could be announced as soon as July.
Of course, agreeing to deal is the easy part. When — and if — these companies finalize their terms, they’ll then have to convince shareholders as well as a U.S. regulatory system that has become increasingly and justifiably hostile to these kinds of mega-mergers among the nationwide mobile carriers.
Meanwhile, SoftBank CEO and new Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son has been proselytizing the merger to any audience he can find. He won’t mention T-Mobile by name, but he’s saying plenty of outrageous things – like promising to rejuvenate home broadband as well as mobile competition in the U.S. – to justify the deal.