SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son has pledged a hard push into the lucrative US telecoms market after a rival withdrew from a bidding war, clearing the way for him to boost his business empire.
The maverick entrepreneur beat bids from Dish Network for US mobile carrier Sprint Nextel, and for the smaller Clearwire, which owns a chunk of valuable spectrum in the country.
"This morning, Dish announced it was dropping its tender to acquire Clearwire, which has cleared the path for my company to acquire Sprint (Nextel) and make a subsidiary of Clearwire," he Tweeted on Thursday.
"I will do my utmost in advancing into the United States. I thank all of you who have supported me in so many ways."
His comments came after Dish said it was abandoning its bid to acquire Clearwire for $4.40 per share, in the face of a higher bid for the company from Sprint Nextel.
Dish's proposed Clearwire takeover ran in parallel to its campaign to buy Sprint itself for $25.5 billion. But Dish was forced to drop those plans last week after SoftBank upped its offer for Sprint, the third largest mobile carrier in the US.
The Clearwire acquisition was seen as key to efforts by Sprint and SoftBank to create a company with enough US spectrum capacity to compete with bigger carriers Verizon and AT&T.
Sprint shareholders gave the nod to SoftBank's hulking $21.6 billion takeover offer on Tuesday, paving the way for the biggest-ever overseas buyout by a Japanese firm, and one with a $1.6 billion premium on what Son had originally hoped to pay.