Sprint sets price on $4 billion financing deal

Sprint Nextel Corp. has set the price on $4 billion in new financing intended to help fund its debts, network upgrade and possibly its 4G fast service provider Clearwire Corp.

The $3 billion largest share of Sprint’s planned debt offering, which expected to be sold privately on Wednesday, comes with a 9 percent interest rate and would come due 2018. The remainder will pay 11.5 percent to the notes’ buyers and come due in 2021.

Sprint shares were down 7 cents at $2.80, a 2.4 percent drop in morning trading.

On Friday, Standard & Poor’s Corp. had cut Sprint’s credit rating to junk-bond status. It cited the Overland Park-based wireless carrier’s network upgrade costs, including creating its own 4G network, and addition of the Apple iPhone.

Sprint had said it intended to sell notes privately but did not disclose the amount of the offer. Because the notes are being sold privately rather than to the public, they won’t be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Last month, Sprint had surprised markets with news that it intended to seek $4 billion in financing from capital markets and an additional $1 billion to $3 billion in financing from its vendors.

| Mark Davis,