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Dish Network Corp, the No. 2 U.S. satellite TV provider, offered to buy Sprint Nextel Corp for $25.5 billion in cash and stock, a move that could thwart the proposed acquisition of Sprint by Japan's SoftBank Corp.
Dish said on Monday it would pay $4.76 per share in cash and about 0.05953 shares in Dish stock.
The offer, which works out to $7.00 per share, represents a premium of roughly 12 percent to Sprint's close on Friday.
Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile services provider, agreed in October to sell 70 percent of its shares to SoftBank for $20 billion.
Sprint is also trying to buy the rest of wireless service provider Clearwire Corp that it does not own for $2.2 billion. Dish previously put in a $2.28-billion counter bid for Clearwire.
"Though not a condition of our proposal, we anticipate that the pending transaction with Clearwire would be completed," Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said.
Dish and Sprint were unavailable for comment outside normal U.S. business hours.