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Softbank to Buy Sprint Nextel for $20 Billion WSJ

Softbank Corp. announced today that it will buy a 70% stake in Sprint Nextel Corp. for about $20 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports. The purchase of the mobile carrier marks the largest-ever overseas acquisition by a Japanese company, the report notes.

“The deal is designed to carve an opening in the U.S. for Softbank, Japan's third-largest mobile carrier,” the story reports. “It will provide the third-largest U.S. wireless operator an immediate infusion of cash, helping it to compete better with bigger rivals in one of the world's biggest and most lucrative markets for smartphones.”

Softbank said it would buy $8 billion in shares directly from Sprint and another $12.1 billion in shares in the market, according to the report.

“The deal would transform Softbank, a relative newcomer in the telecommunications industry, into one of the world's largest telecom groups with about 90 million subscribers when combined with Sprint. It expects to complete the deal by mid-2013,” the piece reports.