Dish Network to make bid for Sprint Nextel

UPDATE Sprint Nextel has formed a committee of independent directors to review a $25.5 billion buyout offer from Dish Network. The committee has retained Bank of America Merrill Lynch to act as its financial adviser and will provide an assessment to the full board, the company said Monday. Dish said Monday that it's pleased with the news. Dish Network Corp., the third-largest U.S. pay TV provider, made an unsolicited offer for Sprint Nextel Corp. earlier this month. Dish is attempting to block the sale of 70 percent of Sprint to Softbank Corp. of Japan, a deal which Sprint agreed to in October. Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kan., is the third-largest U.S. cell phone company. AP/ABC

04/15/13 Dish Network Corp, the No. 2 U.S. satellite television provider, offered to buy NASCAR sponsor Sprint Nextel Corp for $25.5 billion in cash and stock, a move that could thwart the proposed acquisition of Sprint by Japan's SoftBank Corp. Sprint shares soared 16.2 percent to their highest level since September 2008, leaving them well above the value of the Dish offer on Monday.

Dish's surprise bid is the latest development as the U.S. wireless business undergoes a wave of consolidation. Dish was already in the midst of an unsolicited offer for Clearwire Corp, the wireless company majority-owned by Sprint. Dish said it would pay $4.76 per share in cash and about 0.05953 shares in Dish stock for each Sprint share. The offer, which works out to $7 per share, represents a premium of roughly 12 percent to Sprint's close on Friday. Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile services provider, agreed in October to sell 70 percent of its shares to SoftBank for $20 billion. No date has been set yet for a vote on that deal. Sprint declined to comment on the Dish offer. Reuters

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