Sprint Board Forms Special Committee to Review Bid From Dish

Sprint Nextel Corp., the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, said its board has formed a special committee to evaluate a takeover bid from Dish Network Corp., which is seeking to counter an offer from SoftBank Corp.

Larry Glasscock, James Hance, Janet Hill, William Nuti and Rodney O’Neal will serve on the committee, with Glasscock acting as chairman, Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint said today in a statement. Bank of America Merrill Lynch will act as its financial adviser, while Shearman & Sterling LLP will be the legal counsel.

Dish, the satellite-TV company controlled by billionaire Charlie Ergen, offered $25.5 billion for Sprint last week, topping a $20.1 billion bid by Tokyo-based SoftBank in October. The Japanese company has argued that its bid has “superior short- and long-term benefits” compared with Dish’s “highly conditional preliminary proposal.”

Dish said it welcomed the committee review and is open to meeting with Sprint’s board.

“We are confident that the Sprint board will share our view that this proposal is superior on several fronts,” Dish said in a statement.

Sprint shares were unchanged at $7.17 at the close in New York. The stock has climbed 26 percent this year. Dish gained 2.8 percent to $40.10.

Dish is offering $4.76 in cash and 0.05953 of a Dish share for each Sprint share. At today’s close, that offer is worth $7.15 a share. Sprint’s higher stock price indicates investors expect a bigger bid.

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