Sprint Isn’t Giving Up Charter Pursuit

Despite rebuff, Sprint lines up bankers for quixotic Charter run

Despite being publicly told it was just not that into them, Sprint isn’t giving up its pursuit of Charter Communications easily, reportedly lining up bankers to make an offer for the cable company.

CNBC’s David Faber said that Sprint has lined up three global bankers to help finance a deal, which Charter said publicly it isn’t interested in. Even Faber was skeptical that Sprint, which has struggled as the fourth largest wireless operator in the country, could come up with the expected $500 per share or better offer many think would take to turn the cable company’s head.

Charter already has a Mobile Virtual Network Operator agreement with Verizon and expects to launch its own wireless service next year.

A pairing with Charter could accelerate Sprint’s plans to launch next-generation 5G wireless service, but the benefits to Charter are less evident. While it would give Charter ownership of its own wireless network just as pay TV customers ramp up their consumption of wireless content, Sprint’s network needs a lot of work. Faber and other pundits have seen the deal as one of desperation and a signal that Sprint’s talks with the third largest wireless carrier in the country, T-Mobile, have hit a snag.

Charter shares were up about 5% ($18.52 per share) to $388.78 each in afternoon trading Monday, while Sprint shares were down 3.5% (29 cents each) to $7.93 per share.