Sprint seeks alternatives

SPRINT Corp has proposed a merger with Charter Communications Inc as the wireless carrier seeks an alternative to a deal with T-Mobile US Inc that has so far not come to fruition, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, which controls Sprint, proposed a complex transaction that would create a new company and be controlled by SoftBank, the sources said, asking not to be named because the talks are private.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the discussions yesterday.

There is no guarantee Charter would be interested in a tie-up with Sprint, the sources said. Bloomberg reported on Friday Charter had rebuffed Sprint’s merger proposal.

Charter’s market capitalisation, at $94.6 billion, is much larger than Sprint, which closed trading valued at $32.8b yesterday. Verizon Communications Inc also expressed interest in a takeover of Charter earlier this year, sources have said.

If Charter were to agree to a merger with Sprint, it would need the blessing of No 1 US cable provider Comcast Corp.

Charter and Comcast announced an agreement in May that bars either company from entering into a material transaction in wireless for a year without the other’s consent.

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