Sprint's stock surges on potential Softbank deal

October 11, 2012: 11:34 AM ET
Wedding season for wireless
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Shares of Sprint Nextel surged Thursday as it negotiated with Japanese wireless carrier Softbank, which might buy a controlling stake in the company.

Sprint Nextel's (S) stock jumped 18% in morning trading.

"Sprint is currently involved in discussions with Softbank regarding a potential substantial investment by Softbank in Sprint," said Sprint in a prepared statement.

Sprint said "such a transaction could involve a change of control," but it emphasized that there are "no assurances" that the deal will go through.

The share price for Internet service provider Clearwire (CLWR) also surged, climbing 40% in morning trading, as CNBC reported that Clearwire might also get taken over as part of the deal.

Sprint Nextel is the third-largest wireless carrier in the United States, trailing AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ) in market share. But the company has continued to lose money, despite finally adding Apple's (AAPL) iPhone to its network last year.

Related: M&A drought not letting up

A spokesperson for Softbank Corp (SFTBF) was not immediately available for comment.

There had been speculation that Sprint Nextel would make a counteroffer for MetroPCS (PCS), which recently agreed to merge with Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile USA unit. Shares of MetroPCS fell 5% in early trading.

Markets
Sponsored by
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,356.87 288.00 1.69%
Nasdaq 4,644.31 96.48 2.12%
S&P 500 2,012.89 40.15 2.04%
Treasuries 2.15 0.08 3.72%
Data as of 11:14pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.26 0.54 3.23%
General Electric Co 24.66 0.17 0.69%
Apple Inc 109.41 2.66 2.50%
Cisco Systems Inc 26.81 0.22 0.85%
Microsoft Corp 45.74 0.58 1.28%
Data as of 4:04pm ET