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Dish Considers Options After SoftBank Raises Bid For Sprint

Englewood, Colo. — Dish Network doesn’t seem to be giving up on its desire to purchase struggling carrier Sprint despite a sweetened offer for Sprint by Japan carrier SoftBank.

According to a SoftBank statement, its new offer is $21.6 billion — $1.5 billion higher than the original Oct. 15, 2012, offer — with $16.6 billion to be paid to Sprint shareholders and $5 billion for new capital to be used to strengthen Sprint’s balance sheet.

Even though Dish’s $25.5 billion dollar cash and stock offer is higher, Sprint said its special committee on the matter and its board has rejected it, saying Dish “has not put forward an actionable offer.” The SoftBank offer also offers more cash to Sprint shareholders than the Dish offer.

SoftBank and Sprint anticipate closing the transaction in early July.

“We continue to believe that Sprint has tremendous value,” Dish said in a prepared statement. “We will analyze the revised SoftBank bid as we consider our strategic options.”

SoftBank raised its bid after Dish submitted a competing bid in April to buy the carrier, which Dish wants to add to its wireless spectrum holdings to enter the cellular market and expand beyond the satellite-TV business. For its part, SoftBank made its initial proposal to buy Sprint last year to enable it to enter the U.S. cellular market.

Sprint has also expressed concerns that Dish’s bid would saddle the combined companies with too much debt.