The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times both reported that Sprint Nextel had rejected a $5 billion investment offer from South Korea's SK Telecom and Providence Equity Partners. That bid also included the promise of former Nextel Chairman and CEO Tim Donahue being installed as CEO of Sprint Nextel.
Having Donahue delivered to your doorstep in a bathtub full of money is an offer many telecom companies wouldn't hesitate to accept. Donahue guided Nextel through its most explosive growth years, and is seen by many as a smart, pugnacious industry veteran respected friends and foes alike. (His one sub-stellar trait--at least in an interview I had with him a few years ago-- was a tendency to use the word "jazzed" quite a bit--I wonder if there's a Korean translation.) Sprint could use the dough, and SK, a fellow CDMA operator coming from the country with the highest broadband penetration in the world, sounds like a great partner/mentor for Sprint.
If Sprint's board rejected this offer, they must have a better idea. I wonder what it could be.
- here's the story in The New York Times
- Sprint CEO Gary Forsee stepped down last month