News by Andrew Kameka on Monday December 17, 2012.
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Despite recent estimates that Sprint may have to pay as much as $5 per share to acquire beleaguered wireless provider Clearwire, Sprint today announced that it will take full ownership of the company for $2.97 per share. Sprint has reached an agreement with Clearwire to acquire the 49 percent of shares that it does not already own. The transaction will cost Sprint $2.2 billion and is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval. Bright House, Comcast, and Intel - three companies that collectively own 13 percent of voting shares in Clearwire - have said they will vote in favor of the deal.
Sprint has been expected to acquire Clearwire since Japanese carrier SoftBank purchased a 70 percent ownership in Sprint. Sprint already owns 50.8 percent of Clearwire, and using the infusion of cash from SoftBank allows the company to purchase the remaining shares of Clearwire in order to control its spectrum and network infrastructure. The third-place carrier says its 4G LTE network build-out will be strengthened by Clearwire's 2.5 GHz spectrum assets.
Pending government and shareholder approval, Sprint expects to close the Clearwire acquisition by mid-2013. The company previously said that it expects to complete the bulk of its planned LTE network by the end of 2013, but once it has full control of Clearwire and can identify ways to be more efficient, the network should spread farther and become more reliable thanks to complementary spectrum.source: Sprint
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.