Sprint is said to be preparing its official offer to purchase smaller rival T-Mobile US. Bloomberg reports that Sprint executives have met with up to six banks in recent months to make sure that financial details around the potential deal are solid when it formally puts in a bid. The merger has been rumored for months, with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son routinely expressing interest in T-Mobile; he's apparently already tested the waters and held early talks with regulators.
John Legere could lead the combined company
Son has promised to launch a pricing war with larger competitors AT&T and Verizon Wireless if regulators approve the deal. Bloomberg claims that SoftBank and Deutsche Telekom — which current owns a majority stake in T-Mobile US — remain in active discussions over who would run the combined company. The leading candidate appears to be T-Mobile's current outspoken CEO John Legere, according to one source. Over the past two years, Legere has breathed new life into the fourth-place carrier with his "Uncarrier" movement.
Surprisingly, Bloomberg says that Sprint's T-Mobile buyout attempt is meant to coincide with the massive Comcast / Time Warner Cable acquisition. Sprint reportedly hopes the FCC and Justice Department "will see both deals as changing the telecommunications industry." Regulators famously shot down AT&T's attempt to merge with T-Mobile in 2011. In light of that precedent, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son reportedly wants to avoid including any major breakup fee if Sprint moves forward with an offer. AT&T had to cough up $6 billion worth of assets, services, and cash when its T-Mobile deal fell through.