The situation between Sprint and Clearwire may soon be getting a bit more complicated. That’s because Verizon Wireless has entered the conversation with hopes of obtaining spectrum from Clearwire according to people familiar with the situation as first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Sources say Verizon has offered as much as $1.5 billion to acquire spectrum from Clearwire. Specifically, a deal would grant Verizon the right to use airwaves controlled by Clearwire in major US markets. As we understand it, Clearwire would still own the spectrum in question but would simply be leasing it to Verizon.
In related news, Dish Network placed an offer on the table to acquire Sprint earlier this morning. The buyout deal consists of $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock. Shareholders would receive $7 per share and with the combined stock offer, the deal is worth roughly 13 percent more than what Japan’s Softbank is offering according to Dish officials. Sprint has acknowledged the offer and said their board would consider it but declined to comment any further on the situation at this time.
If you recall, Softbank announced plans to purchase a 70 percent stake in Sprint for $20.1 billion late last year. The plan was to use $12.1 billion to buy stock and invest $8 billion back into the wireless carrier. At last check, that deal was expected to be finalized by mid-2013 but with Dish Network entering into the equation, it’s anyone’s guess as to how this will ultimately play out.