Sprint CEO Says "You Can Imagine Why" He Won't Address Merger Speculation

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Marcelo Claure told investors he and his board are evaluating "options" after reports the telecom giant was eyeing a merger with Charter Communications.

With Sprint reportedly eyeing a mega-merger with cabler Charter Communications, the telecom giant's CEO, Marcelo Claure, on Thursday told investors he had been "heavily advised" by his lawyers not to comment on mergers and acquisitions chatter.

"You can imagine why," Claure, who runs the U.S. market's fourth largest wireless provider now seen as a target for Charter or Comcast, added in an address to the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. But he did say the Sprint boardroom is weighing unspecified moves to answer the latest round of industry consolidation that includes AT&T merging with Time Warner.

"With all the available options, we look for the one that will generate the highest shareholder return, or create the greatest shareholder value," said Claure. Sprint and Charter Communications earlier this summer were reportedly in talks on a potential merger that would leave SoftBank, the Japanese finance, technology and media company that controls the telecom giant, in control of the combined entity.

Sprint, a $33 billion company, would be in a position to abandon an effort to merge with T-Mobile US, and instead join Charter, which has a market cap at $113 billion.

Sprint had previously held talks with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway for an infusion of funding and also with John Malone's Liberty Media.

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