Japanese carrier SoftBank is buying a 70% interest in U.S. carrier Sprint for $20.1 billion, as announced at a Tokyo press event. The deal is expected to close in mid-2013, during which time SoftBank will purchase $8 billion in new shares and $12.1 billion in existing shares from Sprint.
The two companies will have the third-highest mobile service revenue of any company, and the combined subscriber base will be one of the world’s largest. Sprint’s Dan Hesse will remain CEO of the new Sprint, and notes that the deal will allow Sprint to build out its LTE network, which has struggled by comparison with Verizon’s and AT&T’s growing LTE footprints. [via The Verge]