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« Clearwire's PC Card: Awfully Fast, Good in Seattle | Main | Sprint Nextel Soft Launches WiMax for Testing in Three Cities »

November 29, 2007

Sprint Turns Down SK Telecom, Private Equity Investment

By Glenn Fleishman

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sprint Nextel said no to $5b and a return of Nextel’s CEO from SK Telecom, Providence Equity Partners: The investment would have been in the form of convertible securities at a 20 to 30 percent premium over Sprint’s current stock price, and would have carried the return of Tim Donohue, who had headed Nextel when it was acquired by Sprint, and was chairman until 2005. The combined firm is worth slightly more than Nextel’s value when acquired, but Sprint has also sold some assets, notably its landline division.

SK Telecom is working on its own WiMax network, with the compatible WiBro flavor deployed (but with few customers) in South Korea. It also has an interest in its former division SK Teletech (now SKY), which makes advanced CDMA handsets that would work on Sprint’s network.

Further, SK Telecom is now the majority partner in the joint venture with EarthLink called Helio, which brings those selfsame advanced handsets into the hands of American youth (primarily) as an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) buying most or perhaps all its minutes and data transfer from…Sprint Nextel.

The Sprint board said no, and declined a face-to-face, even.

Posted by Glennf at November 29, 2007 3:44 PM

Categories: Mobile WiMax, WiBro, financial


Bring Back Tim. Mr. Donahue is the only person who can turn things around at Sprint. Sprint needs to get off their high horse and get Tim in there; Sprints "personality" is exactly why they are in the crapper. Tim has a way of motivating workers and the knowledge and resources needed to make Sprint a true competitor in the wireless market. Look at what he did with Nextel. Nextel, originally a cab dispatch company turned into the number 4 wireless provider with the highest user revenue. If Sprint doesn�t realize this, they will get what they deserve���Sold to Google!!

Posted by: Thomas at November 30, 2007 6:53 AM

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