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Sprint CEO says Verizon deal could lead to more consolidation

By Manuel Baigorri and Amy Thomson
Bloomberg News

Sprint Corp. Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse said the U.S. telecommunications industry is bracing for more deals after Verizon Communications Inc.’s $130 billion buyout of its venture with Vodafone Group Plc.

“More consolidation in the industry is inevitable as phone carriers need more capacity to continue to invest and improve services,” Hesse said Friday in an interview at the IFA consumer electronics conference in Berlin. “That’s also been reflected in what we’ve seen with Vodafone and Verizon. We should see more deals in the coming future.”

Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless company, sold a controlling stake to Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp. in July for $21.6 billion.

When asked about possible international expansion after that transaction, Hesse said at the conference: “We have the financial resources to consider it. It’s possible.”

The sale to SoftBank included a $5 billion cash infusion to give Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint the flexibility to bolster its network or pursue its own acquisitions. SoftBank’s president, billionaire Masayoshi Son, has said he plans to make SoftBank one of the biggest carriers globally.

Sprint this week raised $6.5 billion in a bond sale, the biggest high-yield offering since 2008.


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