Sprint will use new funds to repay debts due in 2014 and 2015

The $2.28 billion that Sprint Nextel Corp. raised this week will pay off debts that come due in 2014 and 2015, the company said Friday.

Sprint sold new bonds that mature in 2022 and pay 6 percent interest. By using the money to repay the debts coming due in two and three years, Sprint gives itself more time to extinguish its obligations. In one case, it will pay a lower interest rate as well.

About half the new money will cover $1.17 billion in debts originated by Nextel Communications Inc., which merged with Sprint Corp. in 2005, creating Sprint Nextel. Those notes pay 5.95 percent interest.

The remaining funds will repay some 2015 debt totaling $1.1 billion, also old Nextel notes, that pay 7.375 percent interest.

Sprint said it still has $300 million in debts due next year and $181 million due in 2014.