Sprint Nextel Corp on Monday said its merger partner SoftBank Corp <9984.T> has waived some terms of their agreement so that Sprint can seek more information from potential suitor Dish Network Corp .
The waiver does not let Sprint disclose nonpublic information or negotiate with Dish, the company said. A Dish spokesman said in a statement that Dish is confident that Sprint's board will find its "proposal is superior by offering Sprint shareholders greater value with a higher price and more cash."
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Two weeks ago, Dish shocked markets with a $25.5 billion cash and stock offer for Sprint, which it claimed was superior to the $20.1 billion deal SoftBank and Sprint struck last October.
Last week, Sprint said it had formed a special board committee and hired advisers to consider the Dish bid. But it also said it was still on track to close its deal with SoftBank by July 1.
SoftBank, in a statement Monday, said it had issued the waiver at the request of Sprint's special committee and reiterated its intent to proceed with the deal.
"SoftBank remains highly confident that its fully executed merger agreement with Sprint, under which it has already provided Sprint with $3.1 billion of capital, provides the shareholders of Sprint significantly more value than the highly leveraged approach made by Dish on April 15th," it said.
Dish shares were trading 0.3 percent lower while Sprint shares were 0.2 percent higher on Monday.
(Reporting By Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Maureen Bavdek and Sofina Mirza-Reid)