Dish Raises Bid for Clearwire to Top Sprint’s Offer
Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH), has raised its bid for Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ:CLWR) to $4.40 a share, topping Sprint Nextel Corp’s (NYSE:S) latest offer for the Washington-based company.
The move by the the satellite-TV provider controlled by billionaire Charlie Ergen marks the latest episode in the heated bidding war involving Dish, Sprint, Clearwire and Japan’s SoftBank Corp (TYO:9984).
The Clearwire stock price was $4.14 in pre-market trading in New York on Thursday, May 30, up 19 percent on Wednesday’s close.
Earlier this month, Sprint Nextel, the third-largest wireless carrier in the US, raised its bid for Clearwire to $3.40 a share from $2.97, seeking to buy the shares in the Washington-based company it does not already own (Sprint Raises Bid for Clearwire). Sprint currently holds about 51 percent of the Clearwire stock. The bid was higher than Dish’s previous offer of $3.30 per share.
By raising the bar to $4.40 a share Dish is looking to acquire all of the Clearwire outstanding stock but will settle for anything above 25 percent, Dish said on Wednesday.
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“It is obviously a better offer,” Clearwire individual investor David Weber has said of Dish’s latest proposal, as quoted by Bloomberg. “But I’d be surprised if Sprint doesn’t top that. It doesn’t sound like the bidding war is over.”
!m[Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH), has raised its bid for Clearwire Corp. (NASDAQ:CLWR) to $4.40 a share, topping Sprint Nextel Corp’s (NYSE:S) latest offer for the Washington-based company.](/uploads/story/2626/thumbs/pic_1_inline.jpg)
When submitting its bid of $3.40 a share less than two weeks ago Sprint described it as “the best and final offer” for Clearwire. Now it remains to be seen whether Sprint will try again to outbid Dish.
Clearwire investors are scheduled to vote on the Sprint takeover bid on May 31. Dish plans to commence a tender offer for the outstanding Clearwire shares before that meeting.
Dish has also made a separate bid for Sprint, offering $25.5 billion in a challenge to the $20.1 billion bid from Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp.
“They are just trying to make it difficult for SoftBank to acquire Sprint and Clearwire,” Chetan Sharma, an independent wireless analyst in Issaquah, Washington, has said as quoted by Bloomberg.
SoftBank Corp., Japan’s third-largest wireless carrier, agreed to buy 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion in October 2012, with part of the transaction being a cash infusion of $8 billion to Sprint to help with the payment for Clearwire. On Thursday, Bloomberg quoted Mitsuhiro Kurano, a SoftBank spokesman, as saying that the Japanese company had no plans to raise its offer for Sprint.
**The Dish stock price (close) was $39.25 as of 14.06 GMT, 30.05.2013
The Sprint stock price (pre-market) was $7.25 as of 14.06 GMT, 30.05.2013
The Clearwire stock price (pre-market) was $4.14 as of 14.06 GMT, 30.05.2013
The SoftBank stock price (close) was JPY5,090.00 as of 14.06 GMT, 30.05.2013**