Last week, during his testimony in the Sprint/T-Mobile merger trial, current T-Mobile CEO John Legere told the court that Sprint has over $40 billion in debt and that they would not survive if the merger didn’t happen. (An opinion we’ve agreed with and have been saying for a while – see below.)
However, on Monday, current Sprint Chairman Marcelo Claure said ‘not so fast’. Claure told the court
that Sprint could survive, saying:
Those are possibilities (selling off in pieces). I don’t necessarily agree with.
In a 2017 email, Masayoshi Son, Founder and CEO of Softbank (Sprint’s owners) said “If we need to pay back most or all of the bonds I am willing to pay back all those.”
So, which is it? Can Sprint survive without the merger?
Yes. Yes they COULD, but they won’t. Since that email, Masa Son has said, fairly clearly, that Softbank was out. They wouldn’t put a lot (if any) money back into Sprint. They COULD afford to pay the debt, but they don’t really WANT to. They also don’t want to commit to the capital needed to ensure a nationwide 5G build and rollout. As we’ve said before, Sprint is “dead carrier walking” and will be either merged with T-Mobile or sold off (as a whole, or more likely in parts.) We believe the Sprint brand will be gone no later than in 2022.
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