Sprint May Have Majority Stake Claimed By Softbank

Bloomberg is reporting Thursday that Japan’s third largest mobile operator, Softbank, may effectively take over a majority share of Sprint.

Softbank is reportedly in private talks to acquire the Sprint stake for more than $19 billion. Softbank is also rumored to be planning to buy MetroPCS Communications Inc. through Sprint.

“Yesterday,” the Bloomberg report reads, “people familiar with the situation said Sprint was holding off on an immediate counterbid for MetroPCS to gain time to scrutinize Deutsche Telekom AG’s planned combination with T-Mobile USA.”

The size of the stake in Sprint that Softbank is pursuing is estimated to be close to 75%.

Sprint “represents the only way for a potential new entrant to get a national presence immediately in the U.S.,” Jennifer Fritzsche, an analyst at Wells Fargo & Co, tells Bloomberg.

For now, neither Sprint or Softbank will formally comment on the matter.