Bloomberg: T-Mobile and Sprint close to finalizing buyout deal

Earns Sprint Nextel

Bloomberg is reporting this afternoon that Sprint and T-Mobile are getting very close to reaching a deal for acquisition. The outlet says that the purchase, if agreed upon, will be made in about 50% stock and 50% cash, but there’s no word yet on price.

Sprint has been rumored to be interested in T-Mobile for months now. The carrier, which was recently taken over by Japan’s SoftBank, has been impressed with the ‘uncarrier’ movement, and a buyout will make it more of a threat to AT&T and Verizon…

Bloomberg’s Alex Sherman has the scoop:

Sprint Corp. is nearing an agreement on the price, capital structure and termination fee of an acquisition for T-Mobile US Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said.

Sprint will offer about 50 percent stock and 50 percent cash for T-Mobile, leaving parent Deutsche Telekom AG with about a 15 percent stake in the combined company, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. The agreement could be announced as soon as July, the people said.

Bloomberg says that the two companies are also discussing a breakup fee—an amount to be paid if the deal doesn’t go through. You’ll recall, T-Mobile received some $4 billion in cash and assets from AT&T after their buyout was turned down by regulators.

Currently, T-Mobile is the fourth largest carrier in the US with 45 million subscribers and Sprint is just ahead of it with 54 million. For comparison, Verizon has 120 million and AT&T has 108 million, so you can see how this would alter the wireless landscape.

Update: The Wall Street Journal just chimed in on the story, saying that the deal will be worth around $50 billion, with a $1 billion breakup fee.