softbank sprint deal

Analysts have long said that Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile service carrier, needed to merge with a rival to boost market share. Instead, 70% of it was bought in October by Japanese technology company Softbank, which has a lot of debt and no experience providing cell phone service in the U.S.

And it's unlikely Softbank underpaid. At $20 billion (a 27% premium to Sprint's value), the deal ranks as the biggest Japanese overseas acquisitions in history. Softbank's shares fell 20% on news of the deal.

Source: Getty
  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated December 28 2012 03:45 PM ET
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