Sign in to comment!



Sprint Snatches Control of Broadband Provider Clearwire

Sprint Wireless Woman Phone Retail Store


In its first major move since being acquired by Japan’s Softbank, Sprint Nextel (S) revealed a deal on Thursday to take majority control of 4G broadband network provider Clearwire (CLWR) for about $100 million.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Sprint said it has boosted its stake in Clearwire to 50.8% from nearly 50% after reaching a deal with Eagle River Holdings, the investment entity of Clearwire founder Craig McCaw.

The move will give the No. 3 U.S. wireless operator control of Clearwire, which holds wireless spectrum that is at the heart of Sprint’s efforts to modernize its network.

Sprint said it paid about $2 per Class A share of Eagle River’s 30.9 million shares and also bought some of its Class B shares, bringing the total price tag for the acquisition to just over $100 million.

The transaction comes after Softbank acquired 70% of Sprint for about $20 billion, marking the largest foreign acquisition by a Japanese company on record.

That deal sparked speculation that Sprint would move to take control of Clearwire, sending its shares surging from around $1.30 to nearly $3.00 last week.

But the disclosure on Thursday weighed on shares of Bellevue, Wash.-based Clearwire, which tumbled 6.67% to $2.11 in recent trading.

On the other hand, Sprint’s shares gained 0.70% to $5.78.

Follow Matt Egan on Twitter @MattMEgan5