Comcast Confirms Its Support For Clearwire Deal

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Comcast Confirms Its Support For Clearwire Deal

Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has confirmed its support and approval of the transaction between Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) and Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR).

The third largest telecommunications operator in the United States agreed to acquire the remaining 49 percent stake in the wireless high-speed internet service provider it does not already own, for a total $2.2 billion or $2.97 per share.

Spokesperson for Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) John Demming said on Monday, “We agreed to vote our shares in favor of the merger.” The largest cable TV, broadband, and entertainment provider in the U.S. own 88.5 million shares of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR), which has a total worth that hovers around $263 million, based on Sprint Nextel Corporation’s (NYSE:S) buyout proposal.

Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) initially invested in Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) in 2008 to expand its WiMAX service throughout the country. The company’s total investment in Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) is approximately $1.2 billion, which means it lost a considerable amount (estimated at $900 million).

A related report from the Philadelphia Business Journal cited that Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) would record the proceeds from the sale of its 88.5 million shares in Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) as a one-time gain because it already recorded the losses from its various investments in the company over the past years.

Erick E. Prusch, president and chief executive officer of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) said Bright House and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) also expressed their explicit support of the Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) agreement.

According to analysts at Stifel Nicolaus, Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s merger agreement with Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) could face several challenges from minority shareholders, particularly from Mt. Kellet and Crest Financial. The companies had previously warned that they would take legal action if the agreement was not acceptable for them. Mt. Kellet expressed that the fair valuation for shares of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) would be $6.30 per share.

Meanwhile, Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) agreed to pay Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) a break-up fee of $120 million if the merger agreement does not proceed; however it is restricted from entertaining any proposal from any other parties.

Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) is also inherently restricted from providing information to or engaging in any negotiation with other parties regarding the acquisition proposal, subject to certain exceptions of course.

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