Sprint Is Talking With Warren Buffett?

Craig Matsumoto
7/14/2017
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The latest how-will-Sprint-survive theory has the carrier getting more than $10 billion from Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the firm run by Warren Buffett.

Buffett, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) Chairman Masayoshi Son and Liberty Broadband CEO John Malone are scouting out a possible deal, The Wall Street Journal reported today.

The Journal reported the $10 billion figure as "one possibility" being discussed but said the nature of the deal behind that money was unclear.

The three men are all in Sun Valley, Idaho, for the annual Allen & Co. conference that gathers CEOs, including Apple's Tim Cook and Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

It's the latest option being explored by Sprint, which has continued to struggle after getting the backing of SoftBank. (See Level 3: Security Is Company-Specific, Sprint, Verizon Face Reorganization, Job Cuts and Sprint Bags Another $3.1B in Financing.)

Reports earlier this year had T-Mobile and Sprint engaged in merger talks. Those were put on hold, the Journal reported in June, when Charter and Comcast began talking to Sprint about a wholesale wireless agreement that would have the MSOs chipping in to upgrade Sprint's network. (See T-Mobile, Sprint Restart Merger Talks Report, DT Wants Majority Stake in T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Report and Charter, Comcast Eye Sprint Tie-Up – Report.)

Craig Matsumoto, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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KBode
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KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/20/2017 | 1:53:20 PM
Re: Something
"Why would either Buffett (with a bunch of Verizon stock) or Malone (controling Charter) want Sprint? "

Well, isn't the assumption that Charter will find being an MVNO not worth their time and may desire a deeper dive into the wireless market? At least that seems to be the prevailing wisdom, though I agree -- and still think a T-Mobile Sprint tie up will be more likely. 
bosco_pcs
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bosco_pcs,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/17/2017 | 3:38:07 PM
Re: Something
Son san is an optimistic individual with a track record, so one shouldn't bet against him. However, Sprint ($S) requires more than optimism for Warren Buffett and John Malone to play balls. The latter two individuals are notoriously value players but also shrewd operators.

Look at their track records individually: for the last few investments, Buffetts demanded a 9% convertibles while he waits; Dr Malone took control of Siri (Radio) when even Bill Miller (another legendary investor) threw in the towel. 

Now look at $S, the problem with its low investments is $32B debt and no free cash flow. Trying to merge with T-MUS is outright nonsensical when $S market cap is $34B and $TMUS $50B, 

Why would either Buffett (with a bunch of Verizon stock) or Malone (controling Charter) want Sprint? It is something no one has addressed thus far since the rumor surfaced. 
danielcawrey
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danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
7/16/2017 | 2:59:39 PM
Something
Sprint needs to do something, because it has fallen way behind. Let's hope a potential Warren Buffet deal can help them, and not just bail out the company. 

Also, I like the idea of Comcast and Sprint partnering up. 
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