Video within the story provided by Sprint.
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. --- Sprint shareholders overwhelmingly approved a merge with Japan based SoftBank at a special meeting Tuesday in Overland Park, Kan.
The vote was unanimous with approximately 98 percent of shareholders asking for the merge. With the agreement approved by both companies, SoftBank will own nearly 80 percent of Sprint when it pours $21.6 billion into the Overland Park-based company.
Sprint will remain an independent company with its own board.
In a statement released by Sprint, CEO Dan Hesse says it was a great day for the nationwide wireless provider.
“Today is a historic day for our company, and I want to thank our shareholders for approving this transformative merger agreement,” said Hesse. “The transaction with SoftBank should enhance Sprint’s long-term value and competitive position by creating a company with greater financial flexibility.”
The merge still must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission, that is expected to be done in early July 2013.
Sprint's Vice President of Communications, Bill White, says the two companies now have their sights set on dominating the industry on a global scale.
"For the first time we really have a third competitor that is financed and really able to compete with the two larger guys(Verizon Wireless, AT&T)," said White.
White added that the financial infusion will give Sprint more flexibility and allow the provider to focus on its nationwide 4G network program.
"A stronger sprint always means more jobs, it really means something to local communities," said White.
Sprint released the following options for stockholders:
Sprint stockholders will have the option to elect to receive cash in the amount of $7.65 or one of New Sprint common stock for each share of Sprint common stock owned by them (subject to the previously disclosed proration provisions in the merger agreement). The total cash consideration available to Sprint stockholders is $16.64 billion. Pro forma for the transaction, the current Sprint stockholders’ resulting equity ownership in a stronger, more competitive New Sprint will be 22 percent while SoftBank will own approximately 78 percent. Sprint and SoftBank have previously mailed to Sprint shareholders forms of election and related instructions and established 5:00 p.m., New York time, on July 5, 2013 as the election deadline, subject to extension.