Clearwire agrees to Sprint Nextel's sweetened $2.2 bn offer

Struggling US wireless internet provider Clearwire Corporation today agreed to be taken over by its largest shareholder Sprint Nextel Corp, after the the third-largest telecommunications company in the US sweetened its offer for the rest of the company to $2.2 billion.

Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint Nextel has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the remaining 49.2 per cent stake it does not already own in Clearwire for $2.97 per share or $2.2 billion, valuing Clearwire at approximately $10 billion, including net debt and spectrum lease obligations of $5.5 billion.

The revised offer represents a 128-per cent premium to Clearwire's closing share price the day before the Sprint-Softbank discussions were first reported by the media on 11 October, with Clearwire speculated to be a part of that transaction, and, a 40-per cent premium to the closing price the day before Sprint tabled its initial $2.60 per share offer on 21 November.

On 15 October, Sprint agreed to sell a controlling 70-per cent stake in itself to Japan's third-largest mobile carrier Softbank for $20.1 billion. (See: Japan's Softbank to buy 70 % stake in Sprint Nextel for $20.1 bn)

Sprint said that the deal has the backing of Clearwire's board and its three minority shareholders, Comcast Corp, Intel Corp and Bright House Networks holding about a combined 13 per cent stake in Clearwire.

Some of other Clearwire's minority shareholders like Crest Financial had earlier said that it would block the deal if the initial $2.90 a share offer went through and advised Clearwire to hold out for at least $5 per share.