Sprint Nextel is no more. Japan’s SoftBank completed its protracted takeover of the US’s third largest mobile carrier today, giving it a controlling stake in what is now Sprint Corporation. The deal is worth $ 21.6 billion, including $ 5 billion in cash to boost the company’s balance sheet and $ 16.6 million to be distributed to Sprint shareholders.
The name change removes an albatross that had long hung around Sprint’s neck following its $ 36 billion acquisition of Nextel in 2005. After failing to successfully integrate the two networks, Sprint wrote off $ 29.7 billion on the purchase in 2008, wiping out over 80 percent of Nextel’s value. Nextel’s iDEN push-to-talk network was shut down at the end of last month.