Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, which is run by Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, has announced that they will be purchasing the O2 mobile carrier from Telefonica for 10.25 billion pounds ($15.4 billion USD). Hutchison already owns the Three Mobile network in the U.K., so the merger of the two entities under one umbrella will create a new number one mobile operator in the country.
Hutchison’s announced purchase of O2 comes a few weeks after BT announced that it had entered into exclusive talks with EE, currently the largest mobile operator, to purchase the company as part of a strategy to create a company that provides fixed phone service, mobile phone service, and internet service. Read more
As Sprint edges closer to a merger deal with T-Mobile, sources say the parties involved are bracing for a longer than expected approval process. This has triggered lenders to seek higher fees as part of the financing deals. Both Softbank, Sprint’s controlling shareholder, and T-Mobile shareholder Deutsche Telekom AG expect the regulatory approval process to take at least 12 months. Building in some cushion to the schedule, it is expected a drop-dead date will be set for around 18 months after an official announcement is made. Read more
The merger between Sprint and T-Mobile could leave us with only one of the two brands existing. Who will it be? According to CNBC’s David Faber, T-Mobile and its name will be left standing. The Sprint brand, however, would disappear with John Legere’s beast leading the way. In fact, Faber confirmed a that John Legere would remain in charge of the merged company. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has already made it clear he has no problem fading away. The rising success of T-Mobile would be the reason for sticking around. Within the last few years, Sprint has gained negative press for its poor network and high costs. T-Mobile, as we all know, is all about calling out competitors and serving consumers with great deals. Read more
There is a possibility that we see Sprint and T-Mobile merge in the near future. On Bloomberg’s Market Makers program, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse appeared in a segment to talk about a few topics. Of course, the merger came up and Hesse even commented on T-Mobile CEO John Legere’s way of carrying himself. Read more
For the past several months, there have been some pretty intense rumors surrounding the possibility of Sprint buying out T-Mobile. Sprint has publicly stated that they’d like to at least try to make a bid for T-Mobile, and banks have clarified that a deal would definitely be possible and priced at around $50 billion. Read more
After waiting on the acquisition of Leap Wireless to go through, AT&T has announced Aio Wireless will be merging with Cricket Wireless. Aio, which will be no more, is going to have its name evaporate and identify under the new Cricket brand. For customers of both Aio and Cricket, nothing will change at all. Their plans will remain the same and once Cricket stores start popping up across the country, shopping and customer service can be done there instead of online. As is with any large financial transaction, this one is going to take a little bit of time to complete.
Hit the break for an official introduction from the President of the new Cricket and the full press release. Read more
It’s not exactly a well-kept secret that Sprint is interested in acquiring T-Mobile since SoftBank took over the carrier last year. However, in a recent television interview, Sprint chairman Masayoshi Son publicly stated that he would absolutely love to try and purchase the Uncarrier. He did clarify that at this point in time, Sprint hasn’t made an offer for T-Mobile. They’re still working closely with banks and antitrust authorities to try to get the finer details worked out before moving forward with any kind of deal. Read more
Earlier today Facebook announced that an agreement had been reached for the social media giant to acquire WhatsApp, one of the most popular, fastest growing mobile messaging platforms. The deal includes a cash payment of $4B, the issuance of $12B worth of Facebook Class A common stock, and another $3B in restricted stock to be issued to WhatsApp employees. Combined, the new stockholders from WhatsApp will represent almost 8% of Facebook shareholders. Shortly after the announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum held a conference call to provide additional details and insight into the deal. Read more
A report from the Wall Street Journal today indicates Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son and Sprint CEO Dan Hesse are scheduled to meet with the FCC. Sources indicate that one of the topics of discussion is a possible merger with T-Mobile. During January, it was revealed that Sprint obtained some proposals from different banks that demonstrated how a merger of the two carriers could be made to work financially. That would only be one hurdle to be jumped if the merger is ever going to happen. It is looking more and more like regulatory approvals will be the bigger problem, which would be a good reason for the two CEOs to spend some time during a face to face meeting with FCC officials to discuss the merger.
According to different sources, the Department of Justice appears reluctant, if not being outright against the idea, to see the number of “major” carriers being reduced from four down to three. SoftBank and Sprint are likely to counter that argument by pointing out that Verizon and AT&T are the heavyweights in the market and the weakness of the third and fourth largest carriers is actually hurting competition, a situation that could be corrected by allowing the merger to occur. By meeting with the FCC, SoftBank/Sprint may also be able to get a government agency on board with the concept to help in the battle with the Department of Justice.
More news today in the saga of Sprint and T-Mobile possibly merging as new information indicates at least a couple banks have provided proposals to Sprint that show how such a deal could work. The estimates put the complete deal in the $50 billion range composed of two parts, about $31 billion for the actual acquisition of T-Mobile and another pot of money totalling about $20 billion to refinance existing T-Mobile debt. T-Mobile’s current market value is about $26 billion and rising based on reports of a possible merger. Read more