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Shares of Charter Communications shot up 7 percent in trading Monday on talk the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group will make a direct bid for the U.S. cable operator despite Charter's rejection of a merger proposal by Sprint.
SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son is planning to make a bid to directly purchase Charter later this week, Bloomberg reported. Charter has a market value of $95.5 billion, according to FactSet.
Son originally sought to merge Sprint, the wireless company controlled by SoftBank, with Charter to create a media and communications behemoth, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the situation. But Charter rebuffed the Sprint proposal, according to The Wall Street Journal in a following report. Son is Sprint's chairman.
The new acquisition plan from Son may revive deal talks that seemed to have ended after Charter said it did not want to purchase Sprint. Bloomberg reported that Son's original deal would have created a new public corporation to combine Sprint and Charter.
The combination would enable Charter, the second-largest U.S. cable company, and Sprint, the fourth-largest wireless carrier, to bundle deals for customers with cellular phone service, cable TV, telephone and broadband internet service.
Charter and Comcast had both reportedly been talking with Sprint about various deals, with an exclusivity window closing last week. However, Son appears to be insisting on a splashy mega deal with Charter, the unidentified sources told the Journal.
Meantime, Sprint had also reportedly been discussing a possible merger with its rival T-Mobile. These talks could gain legs again, along with the Sprint-Charter dialogue, the Journal reported.
Notably, Sprint is set to report first-quarter earnings on Tuesday.