While Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen is busy talking up his company's offer for Sprint, Japanese carrier SoftBank's bid for the Now Network is pushing through the regulatory hurdles that are standing between it and completion. SoftBank announced today that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has approved its plan to purchase a 70 percent stake in Sprint.
Now that the deal has been greenlit by the SEC, Sprint will begin mailing the deal's proxy statement to its investors on May 3. A special Sprint stockholder meeting will be held on June 12 at which the carrier's investors will vote on the SoftBank merger. Unsurprisingly, SoftBank is urging Sprint's shareholders to vote in favor of the deal. The Japanese carrier remains confident that its merger will close on July 1.
SoftBank also managed to toss in a small response to Dish's bid for Sprint in today's announcement. The operator said that it still believes that its agreement creates much higher value for Sprint's stockholders than the "highly-leveraged preliminary proposal" recently made by Dish.
Now that SoftBank's merger with Sprint has been given the thumbs-up by the SEC, it's one step closer to actually getting done. Of course, there are still a few obstacles that it's got to get over, including Sprint's shareholder vote and the opposing bid from Dish. Sprint recently created a Special Committee to investigate the Dish offer further, but so far Hesse and Co. haven't hinted at which deal they're leaning towards or when they'll officially choose one of the offers. With two suitors knocking on Sprint's door, though, it definitely looks like the T-Mobile-MetroPCS merger won't be the only major wireless deal that gets done this year.