ISS Backs SoftBank’s Bid for Sprint

Investors of SprintNextel Corp have been told by Institutional Shareholder Services that they should accept the takeover bid of $20.1 billion from Softbank Corp. The report by ISS did not mention another offered that was presented by Dish Network Corp.

The proposal by SoftBank would give Sprint the capital it needs to acquire more spectrum and then complete its network’s transformation, said the report from ISS, which is the biggest advisory firm for shareholders.

ISS did not make a determination if the $25 billion offer from Dish was superior since that offer has not yet been presented officially to the company shareholders.

Investors of Sprint are scheduled for a vote on June 12 on the offer from SoftBank. Dish and SoftBank are competing to gain control of Sprint, the third largest mobile phone provider in the U.S., as they try to convert into a better competitor against AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

Sprint and Dish, in another battle, are trying each to take control of Clearwire Corp. A spokesman for ISS, based in Maryland, made no response to messages left and a spokesperson for Dish would not comment.

Dish made its offer for Sprint back in April, but did not gain access to the wireless company’s financials until May 20, which will help it build a case of its offer being superior to that of SoftBank.

The ISS report follows an Egan-Jones Ratings Co. recommendation that investors at Sprint reject the proposal by SoftBank. At this time, it is thought that an improved offer is being but together by SoftBank, while Dish continues talks with Sprint, so the best thing to do is wait until the end of May, said the Egan-Jones letter.

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