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SoftBank’s Higher Sprint Bid Gets Egan-Jones Backing in Reversal

SoftBank Corp.’s new $21.6 billion bid for Sprint Nextel Corp. won the endorsement of shareholder-advisory firm Egan-Jones Ratings Co., which had previously opposed the deal.

The increased amount being paid to shareholders, along with the view of Sprint’s board that SoftBank can improve the wireless carrier’s operations, contributed to Egan-Jones’s change in position, according to a report sent by the firm.

“Egan-Jones views the proposed transaction to be a desirable approach in maximizing shareholder value,” Haverford, Pennsylvania-based Egan-Jones said.

SoftBank, based in Tokyo, increased its bid from $20.1 billion, aiming to ward off a counteroffer from Dish Network Corp. In backing the SoftBank transaction earlier this week, Sprint’s board said Dish never submitted an “actionable” bid. It gave the satellite-TV company until June 18 to submit a “best and final” offer.

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