Sprint Ups Clearwire Bid; Vote Postponed

Clearwire (UNKNOWN: CLWR.DL  ) 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.

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  • Report this Comment On May 21, 2013, at 2:07 PM, spokanimal wrote:

    I believe that I speak for a majority of Clearwire's minority shareholders when I say that we're willing to give Sprint a "good" deal for our stock holdings...

    ... just not an "outlandish" deal.

    I have much company when I say that I wouldn't hold out for the $7 to $11 a share that most independent appraisers are saying that Clearwire is worth, net of it's debt. Clearwire may have infrastructure in place that serves 133 million POPs and almost 2,000 of those overlayed with TD-LTE, but there is still work to be done and modestly-negative EBITDA, so that needs to be considered against the pure, net-asset value of the company.

    A "good" price for sprint would be in the $4 to $5.50 range for this company. I've spent enough time talking with other shareholders to know that they aren't greedy, but they ARE tired of being whipsawed and flogged by Sprint over the past 3 years and are, for lack of a better term, hell-bent to make sure Dan Hesse doesn't rip them off for pennies on the dollar.

    As Crest Financial has stated, it makes little sense to try to resolve this before sprint votes on the Softbank deal. Masayoshi Son's effort to try to steal Clearwire ahead of that vote has, admittedly, failed.

    So today, I'm urging clearwire shareholders to vote against Sprint's latest bid until we get past the sprint/softbank vote in June...

    ... Sprint's $3.40 bid may be sweetened a little... but it's still ridiculously low given the tremendous value that's locked up within Clearwire.

    Spokanimal

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