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Sprint’s owner: ‘We want to be No. 1’

Updated: 2013-10-31T21:00:25Z

Bloomberg News

Masayoshi Son, who led deals totaling $2.7 billion over the past month, is tapping record revenue at SoftBank Corp. to underwrite the turnaround of his biggest acquisition, Sprint Corp.

Sales at SoftBank will reach more than $61 billion in the 12 months ending in March as Overland Park-based Sprint rolls out a new network, Son said Wednesday after reporting a quarterly profit that beat estimates.

SoftBank paid $21.6 billion for Sprint in July and now owns about 80 percent of the nation’s third-largest telecommunications company.

More recently, SoftBank has added agreements for majority stakes in gamemaker Supercell Oy and U.S. mobile phone distributor Brightstar Corp. as Son seeks to build a wireless ecosystem for his customers. Sprint plans to spend $16 billion in the next two years for faster services as it tries to catch up to AT&T and Verizon Wireless.

“We want to be No. 1 not just in handsets, but content and platform,” Son said. “We want to be No. 1 in every aspect.”

SoftBank, Japan’s No. 3 wireless carrier, has been involved in at least 12 deals over the past year, including the July acquisition of Sprint, as Son targets new growth.

On Wednesday, Sprint reported its first quarterly profit since 2007, although it continued to lose subscribers.

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