Buffett, Malone explore investment in Sprint


Softbank chairman Masayoshi Son aims to woo Warren Buffett into investing in wireless firm Sprint (S), reports say, but the billionaire's Berkshire Hathaway has shied away from US telecom lately, selling off stakes in AT&T (T) and Verizon Communications (VZ).

According to those people, Son and Buffett had talked during an annual gathering of CEOs this week in Sun Valley, Idaho. The talks are at an early stage and may not result in an agreement, the people said, but one possibility would see Berkshire put more than $10 billion into a transaction. Berkshire Hathaway now holds 3.5% of Class A shares in Charter and 8.5% of Class A shares in Liberty Global, making it Liberty Global's largest Class A shareholder.

As these were said to be informal talks and not any official negotiations, neither of these may materialize.

Sprint Corp (NYSE:S) shares popped late in the day on the news that the company may be in talks with Warren Buffett.

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Berkshire Hathaway and Liberty Media did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

Despite regulatory hurdles, investors have long expected a deal between T-Mobile and Sprint, the third- and fourth-largest USA wireless service providers, anticipating cost cuts and other synergies. T-Mobile shares closed up 0.5 percent to $61.24 on Friday.

Amid fierce competition and price cuts among the largest telecoms companies, the chief financial officer of T-Mobile said the company would benefit from a merger with Sprint.