Sprint and Clearwire have reached an agreement whereby Sprint will purchase roughly half of Clearwire for $2.2 billion (approximately $2.97 per share). After the transaction is complete, Sprint will have full ownership of Clearwire. The announcement comes days after Clearwire shareholders said a $2.90 per share offer from Sprint was too low.
With the spectrum it will acquire from Clearwire and its own spectrum, Sprint will be in a better position to compete in the wireless market. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said Sprint is in a position to "maximize the value of Clearwire’s spectrum" and deploy it to increase the wireless carrier's network capacity. Sprint will utilize Clearwire’s complementary 2.5 GHz spectrum assets with its Network Vision architecture as the spectrum and network is migrated to LTE standards.
The transaction between Sprint and Clearwire was unanimously approved by Clearwire’s board of directors. In addition, Comcast, Intel, and Bright House Networks, who together own about 13 percent of Clearwire’s voting shares, have committed to vote their shares in support of the transaction. SoftBank, a Japanese company that recently struck a deal to buy 70 percent of Sprint, has also given its approval of the transaction.
Various conditions apply to the deal. Assuming all goes well, the Clearwire and SoftBank transactions are expected to close mid-2013.
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