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 17,827.75 12.81 0.07%
Nasdaq 4,787.32 29.07 0.61%
S&P 500 2,072.83 5.80 0.28%
Treasuries 2.23 -0.03 -1.15%
Data as of 9:51pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Kinder Morgan Inc 42.32 1.57 3.85%
Apple Inc 119.00 1.40 1.19%
Facebook Inc 77.62 1.99 2.63%
Pfizer Inc 31.10 0.63 2.07%
Bank of America Corp... 17.11 0.01 0.06%
Data as of 4:04pm ET