Sprint could probably use a little help getting its business back on track, but it's not to the point where it's desperate, according to a report Thursday afternoon.
The Wall Street Journal (paid subscription required) reported Thursday that Sprint rejected a $5 billion investment bid this month from Providence Equity Partners and South Korean carrier SK Telecom. As part of the deal, former Nextel CEO Tim Donahue would have returned to Sprint, where he served as chairman of the company from the close of Sprint's acquisition of Nextel in 2005 until the end of last year.
Sprint is searching for direction following the removal of CEO Gary Forsee in October. The Nextel merger hasn't quite worked out as envisioned, as Sprint is losing customers and has postponed its plans to partner with Clearwire to build a 4G network using WiMax. According to the Journal, SK Telecom's expertise with WiMax was part of the pitch, but apparently that wasn't enough.
The news comes as Sprint's rival Verizon has spent the week in the headlines, announcing plans to open up its networks to outside devices (such as phones running on Sprint's network) and applications, and to build a 4G network based on technology endorsed by the GSM Association.