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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuestelecommunicationErik PruschcomcastmobileClearwireMergers and acquisitionsJeff KaganVerizon WirelessJoseph Euteneuer4g3gat&tBright House Networkssprint nextelintel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?