By Bloomberg
April 10, 2018

Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. have restarted merger talks, the Wall Street Journal reported, five months after efforts to combine two of the biggest U.S. wireless providers fell apart.

Previous discussions to merge the carriers collapsed in November amid disagreement about who would control the combined operation, according to the Journal. The newspaper said it’s unclear what terms the two sides are considering.

The failure of those talks left Sprint alone to face a competitive wireless market, invest in its long-starved network, address billions of dollars in debt and figure out a way to gain subscribers without losing money. The company will need to spend as much as $6 billion annually in the next several fiscal years on upgrades, officials said in March.

To stabilize its finances and obtain funds, No. 4 Sprint has issued more than $7 billion in bonds backed by its wireless spectrum.

Both companies have controlling shareholders. Japan’s SoftBank Corp. owns almost 85 percent of Sprint, while T-Mobile is controlled by Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG.

Dave Tovar, a spokesman for Sprint, declined to comment. T-Mobile didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint jumped as much as 17 percent to $6.41 in New York trading, its largest intraday gain since mid 2016. T-Mobile, based in Bellevue, Washington, climbed as much as 8.1 percent to $64.56, the biggest increase since October 2016.

Sprint Capital Corp. 8.75% notes due 2032 climbed as much as 9 cents to trade at 113.5 cents on the dollar Tuesday, the biggest jump since 2015, according to Trace bond price reporting data.

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