Sprint Nextel to tap bond market for cash needs

Sprint Nextel Corp. disclosed plans to raise an undisclosed amount of money in the bond market, days after its debt ratings were upheld by a rating agency.

The Overland Park-based wireless carrier will offer 8-year and 10-year bonds to investors, according to a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The document does not indicate the size of the bond offering or the interest rate the bonds would earn for investors.

Fitch Ratings on Monday had affirmed its debt ratings on Sprint and noted the company may seek to refinance some of its debts coming due in the next three years.

Sprint owes $800 million in 2013, $1.4 billion in 2014 and $2.6 billion in 2015, according to the Fitch report.

Issuing new bonds would allow Sprint to payoff those debts instead of draining the cash it has available and needs to finance its network upgrade and sale of subsidized iPhones and other smartphones to attract new customers.

The SEC filing did not specify how Sprint would use the money it raises from selling the bonds to investors. It said Sprint could use it to redeem or pay its debts, finance its network expansion, fund its WiMax service partner Clearwire Corp., or use it for other general corporate purposes.

Sprint shares were up 15 cents at $4.76 following the SEC filing.

| Mark Davis,