Softbank to sell record $3.2 bln in bonds for Sprint deal -sources

TOKYO Tue Feb 5, 2013 8:08pm EST

TOKYO Feb 6 (Reuters) - Softbank Corp will issue $3.2 billion in corporate bonds, the biggest ever by a non-financial Japanese firm to retail investors, to convert part of the $17.7 billion in short-term loans used to purchase Sprint Nextel Corp to longer term debt, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Softbank will issue the four-year bonds as early as March, the sources told Reuters on condition they not be identified.

Softbank, Japan's third-largest mobile carrier, agreed last year to buy a 70 percent stake in Sprint for $20.1 billion, in the biggest foreign acquisition by a Japanese company to date.

The Japanese firm borrowed from Mizuho Financial Group Inc , Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Deutsche Bank AG last December to fund most of the Sprint deal.