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Technology DiSH makes $25.5 billion bid for Sprint

DiSH makes $25.5 billion bid for Sprint

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Satellite TV provider Dish Network on Monday announced a $25.5 billion bid for Sprint Nextel. The offer is an attempt to top another bid for Sprint: $20.1 billion for a 70 percent stake by Japanese tech company Softbank. That deal, made in October, was widely seen as giving Sprint a much needed cash infusion, one that staved off a possible bankruptcy filing. Sprint said it had no comment on Dish’s bid. Its shares shot up nearly 10 percent in premarket trading. Dish shares were also up 3.4 percent. Dish said it intends to combine with Sprint to offer high-speed Internet service to millions of potential customers with inferior or no access to such service now. The bid for Sprint would also give Dish another coveted target, wireless broadband provider Clearwire. Dish had a brief bidding war earlier this year with Sprint for Clearwire, but Clearwire decided to accept Sprint’s offer. Sprint already owned a 50 percent stake in Clearwire before the bidding war began. In its statement, Dish said its bid for Sprint represents a 13 percent premium over the Softbank offer. Analyst Amy Yong of MacQuarie Research said that there are many questions about Dish’s plans for Sprint that make it difficult to judge who will be the winning bidder. The wireless sector has been going through a number of deals in recent years, and Dish has reportedly been interested in finding a partner in the sector. “Charlie’s a poker player by trade,” Yong said of Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen. “This might just be his way of getting all the other wireless companies talking with him.”

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