Sprint in talks on potential sale to Japan's Softbank
Reuters -- Oct 12
Japanese wireless service provider Softbank Corp is looking to buy roughly 70 percent of Sprint Nextel Corp in a bold move that would make it a major player in the U.S. mobile market.
But Softbank's ambitions may not stop with Sprint, which might also be looking to buy out its partner, Clearwire Corp. The Japanese company might also be aiming to use Sprint as a vehicle to make a run at smaller Sprint peer MetroPCS Communications Inc, a two-step transaction that would potentially cost more than 2 trillion yen ($25.55 billion), according to a Nikkei report.
That would make it the biggest overseas acquisition by a Japanese company ever and vault Softbank into the upper echelons of wireless carriers worldwide.
In response to reports of a pending deal, Sprint said on Thursday that it was in talks with Softbank on a "potential substantial investment" that could involve a change in control of the U.S. company. It said there was no assurance of a sale.
Softbank is eyeing a controlling stake in Sprint worth more than 1 trillion yen ($12.8 billion) and is in talks with several banks to borrow money to finance a bid, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter.
Japan will go ahead with research whaling in the northwestern Pacific for fiscal 2014, but by reducing catches following an International Court of Justice ruling that ordered the country to stop whaling in the Antarctic Ocean, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said Friday. (The Japan News )
Kanagawa prefectural police said Friday they have arrested an unemployed 42-year-old man on assault charges for allegedly attacked a 10-year-old elementary school boy and two others as they were playing in Yokosuka City in February of this year. (Japan Today )
Japan and the United States ended their three-day ministerial talks in Washington on Friday on the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade initiative, being unable to narrow differences over Japanese tariffs in key farm product categories. (Jiji Press )
Japan's farm ministry said Thursday that the highly pathogenic avian influenza found at a poultry farm in the southwestern Japan prefecture of Kumamoto has been confirmed to be the H5N8 subtype, the same virus strain as the bird flu found in South Korea. (Jiji Press )
Hatsune Miku, a computer-generated Japanese pop star who performs as a hologram, is to support some of Lady Gaga's tour of North America next month, the U.S. songstress has announced on Twitter. (Japan Today )
Tochigi prefectural police said Thursday that they are questioning a man in his 30s over the murder of a 7-year-old girl in December 2005. Japanese media quoted police as saying that the man, who was arrested for dealing in fake brand-name goods, has hinted at his involvement in the murder. (Japan Today )
People enjoy viewing the 15-meter snow walls of the Yuki no Otani (Great Snow Valley), along the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route that passes through the Northern Japan Alps to link Toyama and Nagano prefectures. (The Japan News )