As Sprint and T-Mobile prepare to merge, the companies are now reportedly looking to raise money to bid for wireless airwaves.
The Wall Street Journal notes that the wireless giants want to raise $10 billion for a 2015 auction of airwaves owned by television broadcasters. The money would be part of a financing package between the companies that, as Reuters reported last month, tops $40 billion.
An official deal between Sprint — the third largest wireless carrier in the U.S. — and T-Mobile — the fourth largest — is expected to be announced in August. T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom is expected to hold a 15 percent stake in the combined company, according to the report.
T-Mobile, which purchased Metro PCS last year, is now valued at $9.5 billion. The stock is up eight percent in the past year, largely due to the bold moves orchestrated by brash CEO John Legere.
In an interview with GeekWire last month, Legere made the case for the merger, noting that consolidation is coming in the industry.
“I know what we’ve done in the last year-and-a-half is a small inkling of what real competition is like,” Legere said. “In order to keep it going, there’s things we need in the long term — scale, spectrum, etc. And one way to get those is consolidation.”
If an acquisition agreement is reached, and approved by regulators, Legere is reportedly in line to lead the combined company. Bellevue-based T-Mobile has been adding customers at a record pace following a series of moves by Legere and his team to shake up the wireless industry.