Softbank-Sprint Advisers Stand to Earn Up to $200 Million

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Bankers May Earn Up to $200 Million From Softbank’s Sprint Deal
A pedestrian passes a Sprint Nextel Corp. retail store in New York on Monday. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Banks including Citigroup Inc. and Raine Group LLC may earn as much as $200 million working on Softbank Corp.’s $20.1 billion purchase of a 70 percent stake in Sprint Nextel Corp., according to researcher Freeman & Co.

Softbank’s advisers on the deal, announced today, stand to get $70 million to $100 million, and Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint’s banks are in line for the same, Freeman said. Raine, Deutsche Bank AG and Mizuho Securities Co. provided guidance to Tokyo-based Softbank, while Citigroup, UBS AG and Rothschild advised Sprint.

The tie-up may herald more consolidation in U.S. telecommunications, according to Credit Suisse Group AG analyst Jonathan Chaplin, after the worst quarter for dealmaking globally in more than two years. Earlier this month Deutsche Telekom AG agreed to combine its T-Mobile USA Inc. unit with MetroPCS Communications Inc., a transaction that could yield $50 million in fees, according to New York-based Freeman.

Those two deals are the largest in the telecom sector globally this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. There have been 140 transactions in 2012, totaling almost $86 billion, the data show.

Sprint has weighed its own offer for MetroPCS, people familiar with the situation said last week, which could throw the T-Mobile combination in doubt. T-Mobile itself was the target of a $39 billion takeover attempt last year by AT&T Inc., a transaction that collapsed following regulatory scrutiny.

Citigroup’s Team

Citigroup’s Mark Shafir, Eric Medow and Rosanne Kurmaniak counseled Sprint. The New York-based bank has profited from its ties to Sprint before: It helped the third-biggest U.S. wireless carrier complete a $1.2 billion stake purchase of Clearwire Corp. two years ago, and got $17 million for advising on its takeover of Nextel Communications Inc. in 2005, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

UBS bankers Larry Grafstein, Jonathan Herbst and Winston Meade worked with Sprint, while Rothschild’s advisers included Christopher Lawrence, Nick Melton and Justin Singh.

Jeff Sine from Raine advised Japanese carrier Softbank, while Yuji Nomoto, Timothy Kisling and Edward Dunn led the Deutsche Bank deal team. Fellow Softbank adviser Mizuho also worked with Softbank on its takeover of eAccess Ltd., announced this month.

Softbank got legal advice from Morrison & Foerster LLP, Dow Lohnes Pllc, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, Potter Anderson Corroon LLP and Foulston & Siefkin LLP. Sprint received counsel from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, Lawler Metzger Keeney & Logan LLC and Polsinelli Shughart PC.

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