According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Sprint rejected a $5 billion investment from SK Telecom and PE firm Providence Equity Partners that also included installing Sprint's former chairman Tim Donahue as CEO of the company. Donahue and the PE firm proposed the deal to Sprint in a letter dated Nov. 10, according to the report, but Sprint did not grant the former chairman or the firm a meeting to discuss the proposal before declining.
Donahue was the CEO of Nextel who negotiated the carrier's $35 billion sale to Sprint in 2004 before becoming chairman of the merged company. He stepped down as chairman about a year ago. Donahue says he was prepared to bring in a fresh crop of executives to revamp Sprint Nextel's marketing and operations teams. Some Sprint Nextel directors, however, are not eager to invite Donahue to lead the company again because Sprint has performed poorly since its merger with Nextel. That camp blames Nextel's network as the core of its problems, while many former Nextel board members blame Sprint's bureaucratic style. Still others are pushing for an outsider to come in and lead the company, like Embarq's Dan Hesse.
For more on the deal that never was:
- read this article from the WSJ
- Donahue to retire from Sprint as executive chairman
- Sprint's WiMAX strategy will likely undergo a tweak