Sprint Nextel assumes majority stake in Clearwire


Wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corp has acquired voting control of Clearwire Corp after buying out one of the company's other shareholders, Sprint said in a securities filing on Thursday.

Sprint reached the deal with Eagle River Holdings on Wednesday and now controls a 50.8 percent stake in Clearwire, the filing said.

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The Clearwire deal comes less than a week after Sprint agreed to sell 70 percent of itself to Japan's Softbank Corp in a $20 billion transaction.

Following that deal, analysts and investors widely expected Sprint to acquire or at least assume control of Clearwire, in which it already held a nearly 50 percent stake.

FBR Capital Markets, in a note to clients Thursday, said the deal eliminates a major risk for Sprint, in that it can now control Clearwire's valuable spectrum assets and ensure unfettered access to them.