Sprint, Softbank Near Deal: Reports
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Softbank is close to a $20 billion deal that would give it a 70% stake in Sprint Nextel (S) , according to published media reports.
Citing anonymous sources familiar with the situation, The Wall Street Journal and CNBC reported that Softbank will buy $8 billion of shares directly from Sprint and then another $12 billion of shares in the open market.
Sprint is the No. 3 wireless provider, behind AT&T (T) and Verizon Wireless.
The reported Softbank deal will give Sprint more capital to use to compete against those much bigger rivals.
The Associated Press reported Sunday that John Taylor, a representative for Sprint Nextel, declined to comment beyond the company's statement Thursday.
Sprint Nextel shares closed Friday down 3 cents at $5.73.