Softbank Agrees to Buy Sprint Stake in $20.1 Billion Deal

Japanese billionaire moves into global market in big way.

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Softbank Corp. agreed to buy a stake of about 70 percent in Sprint Nextel Corp. for $20.1 billion as Japan’s third-biggest mobile-phone operator seeks growth overseas amid a declining local market.

Softbank will pay $12.1 billion to Sprint shareholders and the deal includes $8 billion of new capital, according to a statement today. The deal would be the biggest publicly announced outbound acquisition by a Japanese company since at least 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Sprint bonds rose after the deal was announced. The $2.48 billion of 6.875 percent debt maturing in 2028 gained 5.25 cents to 107 cents on the dollar, yielding 6.18 percent at 9:19 a.m. in New York, according to Trace, the bond-price reporting system of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The bonds earlier touched 108 cents, the highest since March 2006.

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