Clearwire board agrees to Sprint's $2.2 billion offer

The deal would give Sprint significantly more spectrum in the top U.S. markets

Sprint Nextel will spend US$2.2 billion to take complete ownership of Clearwire, a move that will help it expand its network capacity.

Clearwire's board of directors has accepted the latest bid allowing Sprint to purchase the nearly 50 percent of the company it did not already own.

Sprint will use the Clearwire mobile spectrum to expand its network capacity and become "more profitable and competitive" in the U.S. mobile market, Joseph Euteneuer, Sprint's CFO, said during a press conference Monday.

Sprint will pay $2.97 per share for the Clearwire stock it doesn't already own, up from a $2.90-per-share offer made last week.

Clearwire shareholders will still have to approve the deal, although some large shareholders have already indicated they will agree, Clearwire CEO and President Erik Prusch said. Comcast, Intel and Bright House Networks, which own a combined 13 percent of Clearwire's voting shares, have indicated they will agree to the deal, Prusch said.

Sprint will roll Clearwire's mobile spectrum into its network, eventually converting Clearwire WiMax service to LTE, Sprint officials said. Clearwire holds spectrum in several U.S. markets in the 2.5GHz band. Clearwire owns an average of 160MHz of spectrum in the top 100 U.S. markets.

Clearwire has planned to launch an LTE network in 2013 in five U.S. cities, but it has billions of dollars in long-term debt.

The deal, also subject to U.S. regulatory review, is contingent on the closing of an offer by Japan's Softbank to buy a 70 percent share of Sprint for $20 billion, Sprint officials said.

Clearwire stock closed at $3.37 per share on Friday.

As part of the deal, Sprint will provide Clearwire with up to $800 million in financing in the form of exchangeable notes.

The deal shows Softbank's willingness to take on AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the two largest mobile carriers in the U.S., said Jeff Kagan, an independent telecom analyst. "Softbank is gearing up for quite a battle with AT&T and Verizon," he said in an email. Softbank wants to be a "major player" in the U.S. mobile market, he added.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobileMergers and acquisitionsbusiness issuesinteltelecommunication3g4gat&tClearwiresprint nextelcomcastVerizon WirelessJeff KaganBright House NetworksJoseph EuteneuerErik Prusch

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?