(USA TODAY) -- Dish Network is launching a $25.5 billion bid for Sprint Nextel.
The offer is an attempt to put a halt to Softbank of Japan's acquisition of the major U.S. wireless carrier.
Dish said it's offer is superior to the Japan firm's.
Dish will offer $4.76 in cash and and 0.05953 Dish shares per Sprint share. The offer reflects Friday's closing price.
In pre-market trades on Monday, Sprint shares leaped over 13%.
"Sprint is in play," said Charles Ergen, the firm's chairman, in an interview in New York with The Wall Street Journal. "We think we've made an offer that's much more compelling than the Softbank transaction.
Dish Network said that its offer is a 13% premium to the existing SoftBank proposal.
In a statement, Ergen said: "Sprint shareholders will benefit from a higher price with more cash while also creating the opportunity to participate more meaningfully in a combined Dish/Sprint with a significantly-enhanced strategic position and substantial synergies that are not attainable through the pending SoftBank proposal."
Softbank is seeking approval from U.S. authorities for its $20 billion purchase of a 70% stake in Sprint Nextel that would be Japan's biggest foreign acquisition ever.