Sprint buyout is one wacky deal
I've never seen anything like it, and it makes me want to sell some shares.
That's how I felt after listening to the weird, out-of-body "Softbank to buy Sprint (S)" press conference Monday morning. The whole exercise reminded me of those old Godzilla vs. Mothra movies. This time, Earth's cellphone markets are at stake!
Let's just tick down how strange this whole thing has been.
1. We have heard absolutely nothing from the always-candid Dan Hesse, the chief executive of Sprint Nextel and one of my favorite CEOs. He has not bothered to respond to my many reach-outs, other than to say, through his people, that he's not talking. Maybe that will change now, because Hesse did say at the press conference that he wouldn't necessarily buy Clearwire (CLWR). He said he would use the new money for something -- maybe to pay down debt, maybe to expand. Who knows?
2. Softbank is being incredibly defensive about the whole thing, having spent most of the out-of-body press conference talking about how it isn't overpaying. If I could subtext it, I would say: "I know you think we are really stupid, but now we will be the world's third-largest cellphone player. Therefore it's good, so don't worry about it."
3. We still aren't all that clear what the rest of Sprint is worth. We know Softbank will be buying in the open market, but how aggressively and with what kind of top? Who knows? There's lots of firepower, but will it be real? Will it just be on the bid side? Who can figure that out?
As for me, this wacky deal makes me want to sell some of Sprint. It's a stock that I have recommended heavily in the past. I'd let the rest run just in order to see how wild and crazy Softbank will get in what seems like an attempt to walk up a stock to see how far it can go.
I've never seen anything like this one. I guess all you can really do is to say, "Thank you, Masayoshi San!"
Jim Cramer is a co-founder of TheStreet and contributes daily market commentary to the financial news network's sites. Follow his trades for Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust and has no positions in stocks mentioned.
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