Softbank has upped the ante on the Sprint acquisition. Yeah the deal is looking sweeter. The Holy Grail is of course all the spectrum controlled by Clearwire. Big billion dollar numbers are being thrown around. Lets look at the board and see if sticking around with Softbank would be a good idea.
Eight individuals. Three of whom have been career Softbank executives and will therefore vote the party line because they are the party line. this includes Masayoshi Son 56 who is President and CEO; Ken Miyauchi 64 who is a Softbank Executive Vice President and Kazuhiko Kasai 76 who is a career Softbank executive.
Yun Ma 49 is from Alibaba, Alipay, Taobao and Huayi Brothers. He sits on the board for strategic networking reasons which may or may not benefit the ordinary investor in a traditional risk reward manner.
Ron Fisher MBA 65 from Columbia and a B.Comm from University of Witwatersand South Africa is the founder and managing partner of Softbank Capital Partners. He was the CEO of Phoenix Technologies and President of Interactive Systems Corporation. Senior executive positions at Visicorp, TRW and ICL USA.
Mark Schwartz 58 former senior advisor to George Soros and then President & CEO of Soros Fund Management 2002-2005. With Goldman Sachs from 1979 – 2001. He was Chairman of Goldman Sachs (Asia) and president of Goldman Sachs (Japan).
Both Ron Fisher and Mark Schwartz come from a strategic investing background. They are not directors of operating companies which day in and day out need to perform. So it’s all about the financial engineering for those two.
Sunil Bharti Mittal 56 of Bharti Enterprises and related ventures. Strategic Indian connection locked up with this director.
Tadashi Yanai 64 is Chairman of Link Theory Japan, Chairman of GU Co, Chairman President and CEO of Uniqlo and Fast Retailing. also serves on Board of Nippon Ventures. I find it hard to connect the dots between his expertise and wireless spectrum.
The battle is for spectrum. If you want to stick around with Softbank there is no clear-cut pathway to shareholder wealth being maximized. They will shuffle the deck and deal over and over. There must be better ways or more clear-cut ways for investors to make money. Short term flippers should make money. No compelling long-term narrative with this Board of Directors
George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. he will not be making a competitive or uncompetitive off for Sprint