Is the long-running saga over Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR)’s buyout finally over? Possibly. Just maybe. We’ll see. Anyhow, MarketWatch’s Ben Fox reports that Clearwire’s special committee has officially voted to back an increased offer from Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). Investors also seem to believe it this time. Trading on shares of Clearwire was halted briefly ahead of the announcement. The stock surged 7 percent right after the announcement was made.
Keep in mind that this is the same board that dumped the plan with Sprint earlier this month and “officially” recommended that shareholders vote in favor of the competing bid from DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH).
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The Final Deal Between Clearwire And Sprint?
Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) announced on its website just a short while ago that a deal had been reached. The press release states that the deal was for an even higher price than the company’s last bid for Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR).
The two companies agreed to amend the offer from Sprint to acquire the other half of Clearwire which it doesn’t own at a value of $5 per share, which values Clearwire at about $14 billion. Sprint Nextel’s previous bid was $3.40 per share.
This newest valuation represents a 47 percent premium to Sprint’s previous offer, which was announced May 21, and a 285 percent premium to Clearwire’s closing price on Oct. 10, 2012, which was the day before the announcement about the Sprint – Softbank negotiations were confirmed and speculation began that Clearwire would be part of the deal. The new valuation is also a 14 percent premium to the $4.40 per share DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) made for Clearwire in an attempt to steal it away from Sprint. Sprint sued DISH earlier this week in an attempt to block it.
After the initial stock price increase, Clearwire shares were trading just above the $5 per share mark.
Voting Commitments For Sprint’s Clearwire Acquisition
According to Sprint, it has received commitments from several major shareholders of Clearwire, including Glenview Capital, Mount Kellett Capital, Highside Capital and Chesapeake Partners. Together, the four firms own about 9 percent of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR)’s voting shares.
These same shareholders also agreed to sell their shares to Sprint if the transaction never actually closes. Sprint had received voting commitments from other companies which own Clearwire shares, including Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) and Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA). Sprint says it now expects the transaction to pass.