Sprint buys controlling stake in Clearwire following Softbank deal

By on October 18, 2012, 1:30 PM

Sprint has reached an agreement with Craig McCaw’s holding company to purchase roughly 31 million Clearwire Class A Common shares and 2.7 million Class B Common shares. It’s a significant deal as it will give the wireless carrier controlling ownership of Clearwire and their board. Sprint will pay Eagle River Holdings $100 million for the shares.

News of the transaction came via a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Share value in Clearwire is down nearly eight percent at this hour but that’s after prices more than doubled in the wake of speculation surrounding a buyout of Sprint by Japanese investment firm Softbank earlier this month.

As was expected, Softbank recently announced plans to purchase a 70 percent stake in Sprint as part of a deal valued at $20.1 billion in cash. The company will use $12.1 billion to purchase stock and invest $8 billion directly into the struggling US carrier. That deal is expected to be finalized sometime in mid-2013 pending customary regulatory approval.

It is believed that Softbank urged Sprint to gain control of Clearwire on their own instead of getting mixed up in yet another takeover bid. According to reports, Softbank’s 4G network in Japan uses technology and frequencies that are identical to what Clearwire has planned for their 4G rollout.

Given Sprint’s new controlling ownership, it’s likely that we will see Softbank and Clearwire work together to develop and build a 4G network in the US.




User Comments: 8

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Gareis Gareis said:

Big moves, I don't know how excited I am about Asia controlling yet another large company located in the us...

ShadowDeath said:

Where was this decision two years ago when I was stuck in a Shitwire contract? >.>

howzz1854 said:

Where was this decision two years ago when I was stuck in a Shitwire contract? >.>

I think your problem could be area related. I am in LA and have been happy with Clear Wire service, much happier back when I only had one choice with ATT DSL. the whole broadband, and wireless industry is so monopolized, we need more competition.

howzz1854 said:

This should be an interesting move, as Wimax and LTE are both competing standards, it'll be interesting to see which one wins in the end. at the moment LTE seems to have the upper hand, but if Softbank really does acquire Sprint and mass expand WiMax, we may just see the trend reverse.

VHS VS Beta all over again.

ShadowDeath said:

I think your problem could be area related. I am in LA and have been happy with Clear Wire service, much happier back when I only had one choice with ATT DSL. the whole broadband, and wireless industry is so monopolized, we need more competition.

The problem I had was back when DirecTV partnered up with them for internet service. Us and everyone else in this area jumped on that. Turns out it wasn't a good idea. I had full bars on the modem and it had shown a 4G signal but I never went over 3G speeds. The only time the signal bumped higher is if I hung the modem out the front door which wasn't acceptable. Later on I had major connection issues and came to realize I was only getting dialup speeds. When I called tech support I got the run around. So one day I decided to do some googling and I found that they have their own fan club hate site... "Clearwiresucks" Just about every problem I had was listed in there somewhere.

howzz1854 said:

The problem I had was back when DirecTV partnered up with them for internet service. Us and everyone else in this area jumped on that. Turns out it wasn't a good idea. I had full bars on the modem and it had shown a 4G signal but I never went over 3G speeds. The only time the signal bumped higher is if I hung the modem out the front door which wasn't acceptable. Later on I had major connection issues and came to realize I was only getting dialup speeds. When I called tech support I got the run around. So one day I decided to do some googling and I found that they have their own fan club hate site... "Clearwiresucks" Just about every problem I had was listed in there somewhere.

that really sucks.. I think I would be pissed too in that situation.

I am not sure where you live, but in the greater Los Angeles area, my connection has always been full bars, although during heavy traffic the connection would drop down to 3Mbps, but I would say it always average 3~6Mbps, and at late nights and mornings I get consistant 8Mbps with spikes up to 10Mbps. but I can see how it can be extremely frustrating in your situation. in fact, my experience with ATT DSL was exactly like that. they tricked me into paying more for lesser speed when I only asked them to add a phone line, but instead they downgraded my connection speed from 6Mbps to 3Mbps and charged me more. that's when I said enough with them and canceled the service.

Zecias said:

Big moves, I don't know how excited I am about Asia controlling yet another large company located in the us...

[link]

Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son injected some competition into a market that was largely controlled by NTT(nippon telegraph and telephone). Competition is good for the consumers because it usually means that we get lower prices. He kept yahoo relevant in japan whereas yahoo has its importance in most other countries.

Gareis Gareis said:

[link]

Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son injected some competition into a market that was largely controlled by NTT(nippon telegraph and telephone). Competition is good for the consumers because it usually means that we get lower prices. He kept yahoo relevant in japan whereas yahoo has its importance in most other countries.

Good to know, thanks for the read.

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