Clearwire gets counterbid to Sprint offer from Dish
BY Wire Reports
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
1/09/13 at 2:14 AM
Clearwire Corp., the wireless-network operator that agreed to be bought out by Sprint Nextel Corp. last month for $2.97 a share, has received an unsolicited offer from Dish Network Corp. at a price that's 11 percent higher.
Dish bid $3.30 a share for outstanding stock in the company, which is majority-owned by Sprint, Clearwire said Tuesday. Clearwire said its board will discuss the proposal with Dish.
Dish, a satellite-television company that's expanding into the mobile-phone business, aims to use Clearwire's airwaves to bolster its wireless ambitions. As part of the deal, Dish offered to pay about $2.2 billion for 24 percent of Clearwire's spectrum.
Dish aims to provide "wireless video, voice and data the same way that we provide video," CEO Joseph Clayton told Bloomberg News.
The transaction would require Clearwire shareholders to sell at least 25 percent of the stock and wouldn't be dependent on Sprint's participation.
A complete takeover of Clearwire would be impossible, considering Sprint owns more than 50 percent of the shares, said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics in Dedham, Mass.
Dish, founded by combative billionaire Charlie Ergen, may just be trying to play the role of spoiler, he said.
"There's no way Dish can do it," he said. "They just want to throw a wrench in the deal."
Dish CEO Joseph Clayton: Dish aims to provide "wireless video, voice and data the same way that we provide video."