Masayoshi Son, the CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. and chairman of Sprint Corp., held talks with billionaires Warren Buffett and John Malone about investing in Sprint, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Buffett is considering an infusion of $10 billion to $20 billion, while Malone would put in additional funding, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. Part of the funding would dilute the 83 percent stake held by Son’s SoftBank Group Corp., while the rest would put cash into the company to strengthen it, the person said.
Son, the Japanese billionaire who controls SoftBank, held separate talks with the two men at the annual Allen & Co. gathering in Sun Valley, Idaho. Sprint shares rose as much as 5.1 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported he was in talks with Buffett and Malone.
Liberty Broadband Corp. is notably the largest investor in Charter Communications Inc., which agreed to partner with Comcast Corp. on its wireless business for one year. Sprint entered exclusive talks with the two cable companies in June, but none of them have announced a deal yet.
It’s not yet clear whether the cable talks will result in a deal using Sprint’s airwaves or in something more. Sprint had previously indicated its interest in a merger with T-Mobile US Inc.
Sprint, SoftBank and Malone representatives didn’t immediately respond to calls for comment. Buffett didn’t immediately return a message left with an assistant seeking comment.