“This is a transformative transaction for Sprint that creates immediate value for our stockholders, while providing an opportunity to participate in the future growth of a stronger, better capitalized Sprint going forward," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement.
SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said the deal provides "an excellent opportunity for SoftBank to leverage its expertise in smartphones and next-generation high-speed networks, including LTE, to drive the mobile Internet revolution in one of the world’s largest markets."
"Our track record of innovation, combined with Sprint’s strong brand and local leadership, provides a constructive beginning toward creating a more competitive American wireless market,” Son said.
The deal would mean that foreign companies would own two of the four national mobile carriers. T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier, is owned by the German company Deutsche Telekom.
T-Mobile announced a deal earlier this month to acquire regional carrier MetroPCS.