Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR ) postponed today's special stockholders' meeting in response to a revised buyout offer from Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S ) that increases the bid by $0.43 per share, or about 14.5%.
Stockholders were to vote at today's meeting on whether Clearwire should allow Sprint to buy the 50% of the company it does not already own. Sprint's new offer of $3.40 a share attempts to assuage those stockholders who were not happy with Sprint's original $2.97-a-share offer.
Chief among the original proposal's critics has been Crest Financial, the largest minority shareholder with 8.2% of Clearwire shares. Crest had sent letters to shareholders urging them to vote against Sprint's first offer.
Crest wants Clearwire to hold out for either a higher bid from Sprint, or from another potential suitor, such as DISH Network or the Japanese telecom SoftBank.
Clearwire has rescheduled the special stockholders' meeting for May 30.
Crest Financial today protested the postponement of the meeting and said it sent a letter to Clearwire's other stockholders "urging them to reject Sprint's new offer and to pressure the Clearwire Board to pursue a direct, competitive bidding process for Clearwire after the battle for Sprint is concluded." (A vote is scheduled for June 12 on whether Sprint should accept SoftBank's offer to buy 70% of that company.)
Sprint's latest offer values Clearwire at $10.7 billion, according to Sprint and represents a 162% premium to Clearwire's closing share price the day before the Sprint-SoftBank discussions were first confirmed in the marketplace (Oct. 11, 2012) when Clearwire was also speculated to be a part of that transaction. "The offer represents Sprint’s best and final offer," said the company in its press release.