Clearwire Deal With Sprint Could Face Challenges From Shareholders

Analysts believe that Sprint’s agreement with Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) would face challenges from minority shareholders, and its approval could come down to a vote-counting exercise.

Clearwire Deal With Sprint Could Face Challenges From Shareholders

Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) announced today its  agreement with Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) to acquire the remaining 49 percent stake of the company for $2.2 billion or $2.97 per share, a 40 percent premium to the closing price of the stock on November 20.

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Christopher King and Josh James, analysts at Stifel Nicolaus opined that Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s agreement could face challenges from the minority shareholders of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) particularly from Mt. Kellet and Crest Financial. The two shareholders previously warned that they would launch a legal action if the terms of the agreement were not acceptable for them. The analysts cited that Mt. Kellet argued that the fair valuation for shares of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) would be $6.30 per share.

In addition, King and James emphasized that it seems impossible for Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) to close the deal with Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) because of the possibility of another offer.

In their research note to investors King and James wrote, “We note the possibility exists of another offer, but closing such a deal would be seemingly impossible with Sprint, Comcast, Intel, and Bright House already onboard with the $2.97 offer… We note that Sprint needs a majority of the minority shareholders’ approval to close the transaction, but they are obviously off to a strong start on that front. We view any challenge to this offer as being an uphill battle at this stage.”

The analysts; the final approval of the agreement will “come down to a vote-counting exercise.”

On the other hand, analysts from Piper Jaffray also noted some shareholder discontent of over the Sprint proposal, but they believed that the merger of the two companies was inevitable. According to them, Clearwire would have lost its only logical buyer, and it would put its single largest revenue stream for the future in jeopardy if it rejected Sprint’s offer.

Meanwhile, analysts from Well Fargo Equity Research cited that the agreement would boost Sprint’s network capacity in 2014 and the company expects $1 billion NPV total efficiency.