SoftBank CEO: We Will Be No. 1

Today Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S  )  tomorrow the world. That is the message SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son sent out Friday at his company's annual shareholder's meeting in Tokyo.

"I now say, we will become the world's biggest company -- by all measures, whether by sales, profit, or market cap," Son proclaimed, referring to the coup de grace that SoftBank appears to have administered to rival DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH  ) this week.

SoftBank and DISH have been fighting over acquiring Sprint in a battle that has gone back and forth since the middle of April, but DISH threw in the towel after SoftBank raised its offer. In addition, Sprint then seemingly blew DISH's $4.40 a share bid for Clearwire (UNKNOWN: CLWR.DL  ) out of contention with a SoftBank-supported $5.00 a share offer.

But Son's apparent gloating was leavened with a touch of reality. Wary of DISH chairman Charlie Ergen's legendary tenaciousness, Son did raise the possibility of DISH throwing something else into the pot before Sprint stockholders vote on SoftBank's proposal at their June 25 meeting.

"We don't know what could happen before the meeting," he told SoftBank shareholders.

If all goes according to SoftBank plans, the company will tout a combined SoftBank/Sprint mobile projected annual revenue stream of $25.6 billion, compared to Verizon's $28.7 billion, and China Mobile's $33.8 billion. China Mobile has over 700 million subscribers.

After DISH made its counteroffer for Sprint a little over two months ago, SoftBank had considered going after T-Mobile USA ). "We were faced with extremely difficult problem, since Dish could conceivably disrupt our plans," Son said.

If and when SoftBank and Sprint finally merge, we may then see DISH also seriously considering a T-Mobile takeover.

The 30-year goal for SoftBank, as presented at its stockholders' meeting, is to be among the world's top 10 companies in market capitalization. SoftBank is currently No. 113. The top 10 is now filled with companies like ExxonMobile, Apple, Google, and Microsoft.

Barring unforeseen circumstances (yet another DISH counteroffer, for example), SoftBank expects closing on its Sprint acquisition in early July. Just one more step toward Mr. Son and company's over-arching goal – to be No. 1, and not just in telecom.


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  • Report this Comment On June 22, 2013, at 6:34 AM, nivegulu wrote:

    Really?, and you think Ergen is going to let Son get away with such a takeunder bid?.

    Old news but still very much relevant.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/12/crest-clearwire-st...

    Excerpt: "According to the Furchtgott-Roth Report, Sprint's $2.97 per share offer for

    Clearwire represents a value of just $0.11 per MHz pop for Clearwire's

    spectrum and significantly understates the current value of Clearwire's unique

    spectrum holdings. The Report says that applying reasonable assumptions to the

    multi-customer business plan presented by two firms advising the Clearwire board

    results in a valuation between $9.54 and $15.50 per share. These share price

    values correspond to spectrum prices between $0.31 and $0.50 per MHz pop.

    The Sprint offer also fails to account for Clearwire's unique ability to deploy

    wireless technology that offers far greater future value than the technology

    currently offered by most major U.S. carriers, the study says. In his report,

    Dr. Furchtgott-Roth explains that TDD-LTE technology allows for higher download

    speeds and efficient spectrum utilization. He also notes that "the only band of

    spectrum in the United States that can be developed for TDD-LTE services is

    the 2.5 GHz band largely controlled by Clearwire." "

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