Like The Herald Business Journal on Facebook!
The Herald of Everett, Washington
Heraldnet.com

The top local business stories in your email

Contact Us:

Josh O'Connor
Publisher
Phone: 425-339-3007
joconnor@heraldnet.com

Jody Knoblich
General Sales Manager
Phone: 425-339-3445
Fax: 425-339-3049
jknoblich@heraldnet.com

Jim Davis
Editor
Phone: 425-339-3097
jdavis@heraldnet.com

Site address:
1800 41st Street, S-300,
Everett, WA 98203

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 930
Everett, WA 98206

HBJ RSS feeds

Sprint boosts buyout offer for Clearwire

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
Associated Press
Published:
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Sprint Nextel Corp. is offering 14 percent more than before for the stake in wireless data network operator Clearwire Corp. it does not already own, but a large shareholder said the offer was still inadequate.
Sprint said Tuesday that it is offering $3.40 per share, or $2.5 billion, for the remainder of Clearwire Corp. Its previous offer, from December, was for $2.97 per share.
Sprint said this is its best and final offer, but investors appear to hold out some hope of an even better offer. Clearwire shares jumped 15 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $3.41 in afternoon trading, just above Sprint's offer.
A vote on the previous offer had been scheduled for Tuesday, but Clearwire said it is postponing it until May 31.
Clearwire's board had already accepted the earlier offer, but minority shareholders have opposed it. A vocal shareholder, Crest Financial, said Tuesday that the new offer was also inadequate. It said Sprint, as the majority shareholder, was strong-arming smaller ones. It wants Clearwire to pursue a competitive bidding process instead.
Sprint is Clearwire's only major wholesale customer and uses its network to provide "Sprint 4G" service. Sprint has accepted a buyout offer from Softbank Corp. of Japan, giving it the financial means to consolidate its ownership of Clearwire. But both Sprint and Clearwire have gotten competing bids from satellite TV broadcaster Dish Network Corp., which wants to get into the wireless business.
Clearwire's main asset is its wireless spectrum -- space on the airwaves -- that could be used to provide high data download speeds. Those are a crucial competitive factor in today's wireless industry. But Clearwire's frequencies are difficult to use. They require many cell towers to cover an area, and the signals don't penetrate well into buildings.
Clearwire is based in Bellevue, Wash.
Separately, Sprint said it can now let Dish see its books and talk with Dish to see whether its competing offer to buy Sprint is better than its current deal with SoftBank. Sprint said late Monday that SoftBank had waived provisions of its deal with Sprint that will allow Sprint to talk with Dish.
SoftBank currently has a $20.1 billion deal with Sprint to buy 70 percent of the company. Dish last month offered $25.5 billion for the whole company. Softbank says it brings expertise and cash to Sprint. It says it still wants to close its deal by July 1. Many Wall Street analysts view Dish's bid as superior but risky, as it will result in a combined company with high debt.

MORE HBJ HEADLINES

CALENDAR

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus

Market roundup