Sprint is holding back on granting financial information to Dish Network as it pushed the company to elaborate on how its $25.5 billion merger offer will be funded and how it will create cost savings.
Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the matter, said Sprint’s board has raised its eyebrows at Dish’s ability to round up the $9.3 billion in financing it needs for the deal. The board also is weary of Dish’s estimate of $11 billion in cost saving coming from trimming overlapping staff should the companies combine.
The report went on to say that Dish has pressed Sprint’s board to rule on if the satellite-TV provider’s offer is superior to the $20 billion deal Sprint already agreed to with Japanese carrier SoftBank. Dish has reportedly complained to Sprint shareholders that the board is holding off on the ruling, which Dish expected by now, because it favors SoftBank’s offer.
In the past week, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son have traded arguments and not-so-subtle jabs at each other’s companies. Son Tuesday explained SoftBank’s expertise in deploying TD-LTE in the 2.5 GHz spectrum made it the superior suitor for Sprint. Sprint is in talks to buyout WiMax wholesaler Clearwire, a deal that if approved, could grant Sprint access to Clearwire’s large holdings in the 2.5 GHz EBS band.
Son went on to rebutt Ergen’s suggestion that a domestic company like Dish would make a better Sprint buyer as American jobs would be safer in that scenario. Son reassured the media that SoftBank would keep those Sprint jobs in the hands of U.S. employees.
Sprint shareholders are expected to vote June 12 on the SoftBank bid.