SoftBank Group invested another $87 million in Sprint Corp., underscoring billionaire founder Masayoshi Son’s commitment to turning around the Overland Park-based money-losing U.S. wireless carrier.
The Japanese carrier bought 22.9 million Sprint shares at an average price of $3.80 apiece, increasing its stake to about 80 percent from 79.4 percent, the company said in a statement in Tokyo on Thursday.
Sprint, which booked losses in six out of the past seven quarters, is showing signs of recovery after recording its third consecutive gain in subscribers. Son last week said he already sees ‘‘light at the end of the tunnel’’ for the carrier, but the turnaround may take two years.
Sprint’s stock has climbed 15 percent this week.
“Son has made his commitment to Sprint very clear, and this purchase fits into that story,” said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo. “Turning Sprint around will take a while.”
SoftBank said it may make additional purchases while keeping its holdings to no more than 85 percent, which would make Sprint a target for delisting.
Shares of SoftBank fell 2.6 percent to 7,491 yen as of the close in Tokyo, compared with a 0.13 percent drop in the Topix index.