The Nikkei speculates SoftBank (OTCPK:SFTBF) could make an offer for Vodafone (VOD +0.5%), given a Sprint/T-Mobile deal is off the table for now. Vodafone has turned positive after starting the day in the red.
Though Sprint/T-Mobile has been shelved, SoftBank just raised $3.9B in debt, a move viewed by many as a precursor to fresh M&A activity. Moreover, SoftBank will soon have a chance to monetize its 34.1% Alibaba stake (could be worth over $60B pre-tax following the IPO).
Nonetheless, Vodafone ($91B market cap) would be a very big fish for SoftBank ($87B market cap) to digest. This isn't the first time speculation about a deal between the carriers has emerged.
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Update (1:05PM ET): Shares have given back their gains, and are now down 0.6%.