Sprint Share Price Up as Clearwire Shareholders Accept Firm’s Offer
iNVEZZ.com, Tuesday, July 9: Clearwire Corp (NASDAQ:CLWR) shareholders yesterday voted in favour of Sprint Nextel Corp’s (NYSE:S) offer of $5 a share for the remaining half of the mobile Internet operator. The approval of the bid of the third-largest mobile carrier in the US will probably put an end to the eight-month old bidding race for Clearwire and its valuable airwaves.
The Sprint share price rose 0.99 percent to $7.14 in extended trading yesterday, after having closed 1.26 percent lower at $7.07 in New York.
Sprint’s efforts to acquire full control of Clearwire have been hampered several times by rival bids from Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH), the US satellite provider. Dish seemed to have won the race when at the end of May it raised its offer for the Bellevue, Washington-based company to $4.40 a share and the bid was endorsed by Clearwire’s board in mid-June. This forced Sprint to increase its own offer from $3.40 to $5 – a move that effectively put the company in pole position. Clearwire said yesterday that investors representing 82 percent of eligible shares had voted in favour of Sprint’s proposal.
Sprint itself had been a takeover target of Dish, the second-biggest U.S. satellite-TV provider, and Japan’s mobile carrier SoftBank Corp (TYO:9984). Dish withdrew from that race last month after Sprint accepted SoftBank’s $21.6 billion offer for the majority of its shares. The deal for was approved by the Federal Communications Commission last week and will be completed on July 10.
Taking control of Clearwire’s airwaves spectrum is a key part of SoftBank’s plans to expand to the US. The mobile Internet provider’s spectrum of airwaves – the frequencies that mobile devices use to connect to networks – will allow SoftBank to compete with the two biggest mobile carriers in the country, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc.
!m[Deal Supporting SoftBank’s Plan for US Expansion ](/uploads/story/3802/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
“The biggest reason Sprint wanted to gain full control of Clearwire is because of the spectrum that Clearwire has,” said David Heger, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co., as quoted by Bloomberg. “When you look at Sprint and Clearwire on a combined basis, the deal will effectively give Sprint more spectrum than
AT&T and Verizon.”
SoftBank and Clearwire said yesterday that they planned to close the merger today. As Bloomberg commented, with the deals for Sprint and Clearwire in the final stages, SoftBank is within reach of the tools it has sought to take on Verizon Wireless and AT&T.
**The Sprint share price (pre-market) was $7.15 as of 12:30 GMT, 09.07.2013**