Sprint down plays buyout bid by Verizon

Feb 10 2005 - 04:27 PM ET | Rumor, Sprint Nextel, Verizon Wireless
Sprint's top executive spent part of the morning downplaying the possibility that Verizon will make a bid for Sprint. Gary Forsee, CEO of Sprint faced questions at a meeting for investors in New York: bq. On Thursday Mr Forsee was asked whether Sprint had received any approach from Verizon. Mr Forsee did not reply directly, but emphasised that Sprint, “remains entirely focused” on the merger with Nextel.

He noted that under the terms of Sprint's $35bn bid for Nextel any rival bidder would have to notify both companies “in writing” in addition to paying a break-up fee set at $1bn. “The merger agreement is very clear on this,” he said. MobileTracker mentioned a Verizon / Sprint rumor earlier this month that was gaining steam with investors at the time. Little more speculation had been made about this possible deal until today. Perhaps the best argument against a Verizon bid for Sprint is that Verizon would face significant obstacles in getting a merger with Sprint signed off on by regulators.