T-Mobile, Sprint Revive Talks -- WSJ

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (November 3, 2017).

T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. are working to salvage their potential blockbuster merger, people familiar with the matter said, days after Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son appeared to call off the talks.

T-Mobile made a revised offer, which Sprint is considering, some of the people said. Terms of the new offer were unclear. The two sides could reach a deal within weeks, the people said, but the two companies could still fail to agree on deal terms.

T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere spoke with Sprint Chief Executive Marcelo Claure on Wednesday, after a T-Mobile board meeting in New York where directors agreed to renew their overtures to Sprint to keep the deal alive, one of the people said.

Mr. Legere conveyed to Mr. Claure that T-Mobile and its parent company, Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG, didn't want the deal to fall apart, this person said.

Sprint's board discussed the situation at a meeting on Thursday, the people said. Key to the discussions are Sprint's valuation and how much influence Mr. Son will have over the direction of the combined company. Under the previous deal structure, Deutsche Telekom would have fully controlled the merged firm, and Mr. Son's influence would have been commensurate with SoftBank Group Corp.'s minority stake.

Mr. Son runs Japan's SoftBank, which is Sprint's parent company.

Last Friday, Mr. Son decided to call off the talks after determining that Sprint is too important of a strategic asset to give up control. Mr. Son believes millions of devices, including robots, will one day be connected to wireless networks.

On Thursday, Sprint shares closed at $6.43 per share, giving the company a market value of $25.7 billion. T-Mobile has a nearly $50 billion market value.

Write to Ryan Knutson at ryan.knutson@wsj.com and Dana Mattioli at dana.mattioli@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 03, 2017 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)