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Softbank Declines on Planned Sprint Deal Complaint: Tokyo Mover

Softbank Declines on Planned Sprint Deal Complaint
Customers wait in line at the Softbank Corp. store in the Ginza district of Tokyo, Japan. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Softbank Corp., controlled by billionaire Masayoshi Son, fell the most in more than two weeks in Tokyo trading because of a planned complaint regarding its proposed purchase of about 70 percent of Sprint Nextel Corp.

The Japanese mobile-phone operator dropped 1.9 percent to close at 3,065 yen, the biggest decline since Dec. 20. Crest Financial Corp. said Jan. 4 it will ask the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to block Softbank’s purchase of Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint along with Sprint’s planned acquisition of outstanding shares in Clearwire Corp.

Clearwire investor Crest, which has also filed a lawsuit opposing Softbank’s $20.1 billion investment in Sprint, said the deal undervalues Bellevue, Washington-based Clearwire’s airwaves. The opposition may disrupt Tokyo-based Softbank’s plan to enter the U.S. as it tries to pare a reliance on Japan’s shrinking mobile-phone market.

“The investor’s move to block the deals is probably impacting Softbank shares today,” said Shinji Moriyuki, a Tokyo-based SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. analyst. “It may impact the offer for Clearwire by Sprint, but it’s too early yet to say anything concrete about the deals’ outcome.”

Crest Financial plans to file its complaint to the FCC by Jan. 28, the deadline for comments about the two Sprint deals, David Schumacher, general counsel for the Houston-based company, said Jan. 4.

Softbank plans to pay $12.1 billion to Sprint shareholders and to invest $8 billion of new capital in the U.S. company, according to an Oct. 15 statement. The deal would be the biggest publicly announced outbound acquisition by a Japanese company since at least 2000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Clearwire closed unchanged at $2.88 in New York on Jan. 4. The company’s board has agreed to Sprint’s plan to buy outstanding shares at $2.97 apiece.

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