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Morrison & Foerster guides SoftBank to successful deal for Sprint Nextel

Shareholders of Sprint Nextel have voted overwhelmingly to approve a bid by Japan’s SoftBank to acquire a controlling 78 per cent stake in the company for USD21.6bn. 

 
The telecom deal for America’s third largest wireless carrier is also the largest outbound investment ever by a Japanese company. The transaction is expected to close on 9 July. 
 
Law firm Morrison & Foerster has been advising SoftBank since the deal was announced last November, including helping SoftBank best DISH Network in its rival bid for Sprint. DISH formally dropped its pursuit in recent days. Next up is Sprint’s own bid for Clearwire, in which MoFo is also representing SoftBank; Clearwire shareholders vote on that deal on 8 July. 
 
MoFo’s deal team has been co-led by San Francisco partner Robert Townsend, co-chair of the global M&A group, and Tokyo managing partner Kenneth Siegel, who heads the firm’s top-rated Japan M&A practice. Each has extensive experience handling high-stakes cross-border deals involving Japanese companies. 
 

"This has been the most challenging and complex contested M&A deal I’ve been involved in and that people have seen in a very long time," Townsend says. "It is indicative of the strategic reshuffling of the industry that is leading hopefully to a more competitive wireless industry going forward. This will be seen as hopefully a successful watershed for Japanese M&A in the US." 

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