In the ongoing bidding war for Clearwire (UNKNOWN: CLWR.DL ) , DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH ) has sent a letter to the Clearwire board with an offer to purchase the wireless firm for $4.40 a share in cash.
The bid from DISH is a 29% premium over an earlier $3.40-a-share bid for the Clearwire shares it doesn't already own from Sprint (NYSE: S ) . With a Clearwire shareholders meeting on the Sprint offer set for tomorrow, DISH Network is making the offer public, "in light of the limited time remaining," the company said in its press release. Reuters is reporting that two sources are saying Clearwire is expected to postpone the vote on the Sprint offer.
Clearwire's largest minority shareholder, Crest Financial, has been campaigning against the Sprint bid, arguing the company should hold out for a higher bid, perhaps from another suitor.
In a letter dated Wednesday to John Stanton, the chairman of Clearwire, DISH Network chairman and co-founder Charlie Ergen said, "We have reviewed your recently amended merger agreement with Sprint Nextel Corporation ... and we continue to believe we can provide a meaningfully superior alternative to your stockholders, so we are presenting a transaction valued at $4.40 per share." The letter from DISH Network also notes its board had approved the offer, and it is "not subject to any financing contingency."
DISH Network's letter detailing its latest acquisition offer follows two recent announcement issued by Clearwire, dated May 28 and May 29, in which Clearwire reiterated earlier recommendations to its shareholders to accept Sprint's most recent bid. Sprint has said its offer of $3.40 a share is its "best and final offer."