Business

July 31, 2012

How’s this for a fantasy deal: Apple buying Sprint

New York Times business columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin has listed Sprint Nextel Corp. as his “most out there idea” for putting Apple’s $117 billion in stashed cash to work. orkin’s column Tuesday said Apple could pick up Sprint for a “song,” noting that its total stock market value is around $13.5 billion.

Customers are buying iPhones from Sprint Nextel Corp., which is buying them from Apple Inc. How about cutting out the middle man?

Just have Apple buy Sprint.

That’s the proposition from New York Times business columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin. He listed Sprint as his “most out there idea” for putting Apple’s $117 billion in stashed cash to work.

A Sprint spokeswoman said Tuesday the Overland Park-based wireless carrier would not comment. Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

Sorkin’s column Tuesday said Apple could pick up Sprint for a “song,” noting that its total stock market value is around $13.5 billion. Sprint shares finished Tuesday at $4.36, down 15 cents.

Then, for say $50 billion more, Apple could turn Sprint’s wireless network into “a showcase for the next generation mobile technology.”

Evidently Sprint’s $5 billion Network Vision isn’t going to cut it.

Sorkin is thinking that Apple could convert Sprint’s cellular service into wireless pay TV.

His open letter to Apple suggested other buyout targets: Twitter, the 140-character social media bulletin board, and Path Inc., which has a photo and video app for mobile devices; Research in Motion, which is the beaten-down Canadian-based company behind Blackberry devices; and Square Inc., which offers credit card readers for mobile phones.

The unsolicited Sprint recommendation follows last Friday’s buy-Sprint advice from Sorkin’s CNBC broadcast mate Jim Cramer.

Cramer touted Sprint as a speculative investment play on his CNBC Mad Money cable show.

Sprint shares had jumped 20 percent to $4.05 on Thursday after Sprint’s second-quarter earnings report. They climbed to $4.31 at Friday’s close.

Cramer’s contribution was that this is pretty close to $5, a price at which hedge funds and other big investors would be able to add Sprint to their portfolios.

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