SoftBank said to be asking investment banks not to finance Dish's bid for Sprint

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: May 10, 2013

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In the latest twist that is the SoftBank-Sprint-Dish Network love triangle, it appears that SoftBank may be asking banks not to give Dish the financing that it would need to fund its bid for Sprint. According to sources speaking to Reuters, SoftBank is asking unnamed investment banks not to finance Dish's bid, telling the banks that giving Dish the funding that it needs could hurt their chances of taking part in the initial public offering of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. SoftBank holds a 33 percent stake in Alibaba.

Dish has been busy working with various investment banks in an attempt to line up the financing that it needs for its Sprint bid, but one of today's tipsters claims that the process is proving challenging for the company, with one major Wall Street bank already removing itself from Dish's funding due to its connection with SoftBank. All four companies mentioned in today's report declined to comment on it, but a person close to Alibaba told Reuters that SoftBank doesn't make any decisions related to the way that Alibaba is managed.

SoftBank and Dish have been trading blows ever since Dish made its $25.5 billion offer for Sprint last month, which came months after SoftBank entered into an agreement with Sprint to acquire a 70 percent stake in the Now Network for $20.1 billion. For example, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has called Dish's offer "incomplete and illusory," while Dish chairman Charlie Ergen has said that being an American company gives Dish an advantage in the battle for Sprint.

Meanwhile, the fates of SoftBank and Dish's bids for Sprint's seem up in the air for now. Sprint recently got permission from SoftBank to speak with Dish and learn more about the company's $25.5 billion offer, which is good news for Dish. However, SoftBank's bid has already been approved by the SEC, and Sprint's shareholders are scheduled to vote on the offer on June 12. Right now it's anyone's guess about how this whole situation will turn out, but one thing that seems likely is that this won't be the last time that we hear about SoftBank or Dish try to mess with the other company's bid.

Via Reuters