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SoftBank Said to Have $65 Billion in Funds for Charter Deal

  • Bank financing is said to have been in place for some time
  • Malone is said to agree with Charter board’s decision

SoftBank Group Corp. has as much as $65 billion in financing lined up as Chairman Masayoshi Son weighs whether to make a formal takeover offer for Charter Communications Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

The financing arrangement is among the new details that are emerging on Son’s plan to merge Charter with SoftBank’s struggling U.S. wireless company Sprint Corp. While Charter said in a statement last weekend that its board wasn’t interested in buying Sprint, Son’s proposal all along has been for SoftBank to acquire Charter and combine it with Sprint to create a new publicly traded company, the people said.

The funding to complete that complex transaction, from four banks, has been in place for some time, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. Charter’s board was aware of the financing when it rejected Son’s initial deal proposal, but he is contemplating whether to proceed with a formal offer anyway, perhaps with some tweaks, they said.

Persuading Charter’s investors to do a deal could be tough. John Malone, the cable billionaire who controls about 21 percent of Charter through Liberty Broadband Corp., agreed with the decision by Charter’s board to reject Son’s proposal, two of the people...