Clearwire disclosed in a securities filing on Friday that it had received an offer from an unnamed company for use of its spectrum. According to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon is behind the proposed deal and has offered $1.5 billion to lease Clearwire’s spectrum. Verizon is said to be interested in Clearwire spectrum in big markets to help it bolster its 4G LTE service. The carrier is expected to face a few obstacles, however. Wireless rival Sprint has a controlling stake in Clearwire and recently proposed a takeover of the company, while at the same time Sprint is in the middle of dealing with its own merger offers from Japanese carrier SoftBank and from Dish Network. Clearwire, Sprint and Verizon, nevertheless, will come together to evaluate the offer and discuss it in further detail.
A top Clearwire (CLWR) shareholder is waging a proxy war in an effort to stop Sprint’s proposed takeover of the troubled wireless provider, AllThingsD reported. Sprint (S) is looking to acquire Clearwire for $2.97 per share, however Crest Financial, Clearwire’s largest minority shareholder, believes the offer undervalues the company and its spectrum. The Houston-based investment company hired a proxy solicitation firm last month to help it fight the deal, and also sued Clearwire and its board for breaching their fiduciary duties. More →
Although Sprint (S) CEO Dan Hesse has in the past fought against consolidation of spectrum holdings in the wireless industry, he’s not nearly as concerned when it’s his own company doing the consolidating. As Quartz points out, Sprint is now poised to dominate mobile data spectrum holdings in the United States with its plan to fully acquire wireless broadband wholesaler Clearwire (CLWR). More →
In line with earlier reports, Sprint (S) on Monday announced plans to acquire the remaining stake it did not already own in wireless broadband wholesaler Clearwire (CLWR). Sprint’s offer came in just north of earlier reports claiming the company would bid $2.90 per share, or $2.1 billion, which would value Clearwire at $4.2 billion. Sprint’s final bid came in at $2.97 per share, or $2.2 billion, and it pushes Clearwire’s valuation to $4.5 billion plus another $5.5 billion of net debt and spectrum lease obligations. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and to shareholder approval, and is expected to close next year. Sprint’s full press release follows below. More →
Sprint (S) is reportedly in talks to acquire the remaining stake in Clearwire (CLWR), according to CNBC. While a deal isn’t believed to be imminent, the two companies are involved in “active negotiations” and could announce an agreement before the end of the year. Sprint already owns a 50.8% stake in Clearwire and has long been rumored to be interested in a full acquisition of the company. CNBC’s sources note, however, that a potential deal is still “fraught with difficulty” due to the complexity of their relationship and Sprint’s pending deal to sell a majority stake to SoftBank. Shares of Clearwire reacted positively to the news, jumping nearly 15% to $2.75 per share.
With Softbank (SFTBY) acquiring a 70% stake in Sprint (S), it was speculated by Bloomberg that the latter would be unlikely to push on with its efforts to buy a controlling stake in Clearwire (CLWR). Reuters is now reporting that Sprint has “acquired control of Clearwire Corp after buying out one of the company’s other shareholders,” however. Sprint will purchase 31 million Class A shares and approximately 2.7 million Class B shares from Eagle River Holdings to boost the carrier’s total stake in Clearwire to a controlling 50.8%.
One of the predicted benefits of the Softbank (SFTBY)-Sprint (S) merger is that Sprint will now have enough cash on hand to buy up Clearwire (CLWR), the troubled wireless company that has partnered with Sprint in the past and that has valuable spectrum that Sprint can use for its LTE network. But unnamed sources have told Bloomberg that such a merger is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future because Sprint and Softbank have made it clear that their “priority is to close the deal” that they announced this week, which Bloomberg says “will take six to eight months.” Bloomberg’s sources also said that Sprint already has enough spectrum for its LTE network and that buying Clearwire would be too expensive. More →
NetZero burst onto the scene in 1998 as the first in a crop of Internet service providers that gave subscribers free access to the Web using an advertising-supported model. NetZero’s patented ad technology displayed highly targeted ads to users as they browsed the Internet at dial-up speeds, but it was forced into a freemium model when a number of other ISPs began offering free Web access as well. NetZero continues to offer basic paid dial-up and broadband services, but now the company is going back to its roots in an effort to disrupt the wireless industry as it did to the dial-up industry nearly 14 years ago. More →
Sprint on Monday announced that the carrier is issuing another round of notes due in 2017 and 2020 in an attempt to generate approximately $2 billion in capital. The investment would allow Sprint to fund general operations, build out its LTE network and possibly help fund the Clearwire as it continues to struggle. “The company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering of the Notes for general corporate purposes, which may include, among other things, redemptions or service requirements of outstanding debt, network expansion and modernization and potential funding of Clearwire Corporation and its subsidiary Clearwire Communications LLC,” Sprint said. Read on for Sprint’s press release. More →
Google on Friday filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to sell its entire stake in Clearwire. The Mountain View-based company spent $500 million in 2008 to acquire a 6.5% stake in Clearwire, and now the search giant is now looking to sell its share for $47 million, less than a tenth of the original investment. Clearwire was the first company to roll out a 4G network in the U.S., however the WiMAX technology the network was built around failed to gain widespread adoption, with every major carrier instead deploying or looking to deploy 4G LTE service. Even Clearwire’s largest shareholder, Sprint, announced plans to launch a 4G LTE network in mid-2012. According to the SEC filing, Google will exit Clearwire in an effort to rebalance its investment portfolio. The sale is expected to close by the end of March. More →
Sprint on Thursday announced the first markets that will be upgraded with 4G LTE service this year. The company’s LTE network will launch in the first half of this year in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, CEO Dan Hesse revealed during a talk at the Citigroup Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference. Hesse also said that Sprint would be upgrading its 3G coverage in those markets at the same time. Sprint was the first carrier in the United States to deploy a 4G network, but it opted to use WiMAX technology rather than LTE. In the fall of 2011, however, Sprint announced that the company would convert to a single-network architecture, moving away from CDMA and WiMAX as it rolls out its LTE network. Rather than abandoning the company’s old technology, Sprint inked a deal with Clearwire to continue supporting WiMAX through 2015. Sprint’s full press release follows below. More →
Clearwire announced recently that it has garnered another $734 million in funding after closing its public offering of Class A common stock at $2.00 per share. The public offering earned Clearwire $384.1 million after commissions, and it pulled in an additional $331.4 million selling Class B shares to Sprint. ”This equity raise is a critical step for Clearwire to achieve its long-term business plan of creating the first wide-channel TDD-LTE 4G network in the U.S.,” president and CEO of Clearwire Erik Prusch said. “The added resources will enable us to continue delivering 4G mobile broadband service to meet the rapidly growing demand in the industry. We remain ideally and uniquely positioned to serve both wholesale and retail customers well into the future.” Read on for more. More →
Sprint and Clearwire on Thursday announced a new 4G LTE and WiMAX agreement that will extend over the next few years. The agreement could be worth up to $1.6 billion over the next four years for Clearwire, which it will earn selling its services to Sprint. “These agreements are a result of the technical MOU we outlined during our third quarter results call and extend our relationship with Clearwire,” Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said. “It provides Sprint improved pricing, allows us to continue to provide WiMAX 4G services to our customers today and to new customers in the future and provides additional LTE capacity to help complement our Network Vision strategy and meet our customers’ growing data demands.” Read on for more. More →