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DISH offers to buy Sprint Nextel for $25.5 bn

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US satellite television provider DISH Network said Monday it had made an offer to buy wireless provider Sprint Nextel, putting its value at $25.5 billion (19.5 billion euros).

The satellite company plans to finance the purchase with $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock, according to a statement.

The merger would "create the only company that can offer customers a convenient, fully-integrated, nationwide bundle of in- and out-of-home video, broadband and voice services," DISH Chairman Charlie Ergen said in a statement.

"Additionally, the combined national footprints and scale will allow DISH/Sprint to bring improved broadband services to millions of homes with inferior or no access."

DISH said the proposed merger would result in "synergies and growth opportunities" estimated at $37 billion as well as $11 billion in cost savings.

The proposal represents a challenge to an offer made last October by Japan's Softbank to purchase 70 percent of Sprint for $20 billion and recapitalize it.

US regulators, who want to insure the Softbank merger does not pose problems for national security, have yet to give a green light to the proposal.

In January DISH said it had made a bid for Clearwire Corp, topping Sprint Nextel's offer for the wireless broadband firm's shares by 11 percent.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130415/dish-offers-buy-sprint-nextel-255-bn