Sprint Nextel, in need of a new chief executive, turned down a $5 billion investment proposal that would have brought the telecommunications company's former chairman back as CEO, The Wall Street Journal, quoted by an Associated Press report, said
The Associated Press report said the offer came from South Korea's SK Telecom and Providence Equity Partners, a private equity firm, according to the Journal, which cited anonymous people familiar with the matter.
Sprint rejected the offer without meeting with former chairman Tim Donahue or the investors, the newspaper said.
Sprint is looking for a replacement for Gary Forsee, who resigned last month after four years as CEO, the report said.
In 2005, Forsee led Sprint's $35 billion acquisition of Nextel Communications, which has not worked as planned. The company's stock has fallen more than 40% from its 2005 high.
Donahue had been Nextel's CEO and became chairman of the combined company. He stepped down from that role just over a year ago.
Sprint Nextel spokesman James Fisher declined to comment on the newspaper report.