Contrary to reports on other large websites, that shall remain nameless, SK Telecom is NOT going to buy Sprint. Here’s why:
SK Telecom is valued at roughly $18 billion, which is a third of Sprint value of $62 billion. SK Telecom simply doesn’t have the money to do make the bid alone. Sure, SK Teleom can solicit private funding but it would be hard, if not impossible, to gather more than $44 BILLION to make a bid for Sprint that shareholders would accept – and thats not including a premium.
However, I do believe that SK Telecom IS talking to Sprint but people are reading the tea leaves wrong. SK Telecom WANTS to be in the US market as illustrated in their MVNO with Earthlink – Helio. Now, I predict that SK Telecom will make a substantial investment into Sprint with some partners, potentially bringing the company into private ownership – a lesson learned from Alltel. That would greatly benefit Sprint by removing some major public scrutiny as well as the company can gain more control of their own destiny.
Now, we can speculate further that it could be possible that SK Telecom is talking with Sprint about a joint bid for the 700 Mhz spectrum that is planed to go up for public auction. Considering how cozy Google and Sprint have gotten over WiMax could this potentially setup a three way bid to create a new generation high speed network? Again, this is all speculation.