Flush with Cash from Softbank, Sprint Buys Controlling Share of Clearwire

By Tracey E. Schelmetic October 18, 2012

While rumors of a Sprint acquisition in Clearwire have been swirling for some time now, most industry analysts had assumed that once Sprint agreed to sell 70 percent of itself to Japan's Softbank Corporation, a $20 billion transaction that was announced just last week, those rumors would be put to bed.

They were wrong. Well…mostly wrong.


Image via Shutterstock

In a securities filing today, Sprint announced that it will buy a controlling share in Clearwire, thanks to the cash it plans to pocket from the Softbank deal. The wireless carrier will purchase 31 million Class A shares and approximately 2.7 million Class B shares from Eagle River Holdings, which will leave Sprint hold 50.8 percent of Clearwire. Eagle River is the investment vehicle of Clearwire founder and wireless industry veteran Craig McCaw.

Clearwire provides mobile and fixed wireless broadband communications services to retail and wholesale customers in the U.S., Belgium and Spain. Its shares fell nearly 10 percent in premarket trading today, as the new arrangement appears to have dashed hopes that Sprint would buy the company outright.

Prior to Sprint’s purchase of the additional interest, it already held 48 percent of Clearwire, but since it wasn’t a majority stakeholder, it did not control the company’s board.

This was a risk, given that Sprint has sold service on Clearwire's network and needs access to its smaller partner's big holdings of spectrum rights, the Wall Street Journal noted yesterday.




Edited by Brooke Neuman

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Apple, Cisco Join Forces - What It Could Mean for Them, and the Rest of Us

By: Paula Bernier    9/2/2015

Tech powerhouses Apple and Cisco systems this week announced they have joined forces to give business users of iOS devices the best possible experienc…

Read More

LTE Broadcast, IndyCar Racing, and Blending the Best of TV and Stadium Viewing

By: Rob Enderle    9/1/2015

This last weekend I was at the IndyCar race in Sonoma to see Verizon and Qualcomm showcase LTE Broadcast-I also wanted to see the race. I've watched N…

Read More

Windows 95 to Windows 10: How Far We Have Come in 20 Years

By: Rob Enderle    9/1/2015

Last week was the anniversary of Windows 95, which was actually a life-changing launch for me. I'd just started out as an analyst, and Windows 95 was …

Read More

Microsoft Research Project Allows for Inexpensive 3D Scanning from a Smartphone

By: Christopher Mohr    8/27/2015

It is now possible to perform 3D scanning from a smartphone, without additional hardware or an Internet connection, thanks to a new Microsoft Research…

Read More

Amazon's Scaled Back Consumer Device Efforts, Dash Button, and More

By: Paula Bernier    8/27/2015

Word is that Amazon is scaling way back on its consumer devices efforts, having let go of dozens of Lab126 engineers who worked on its Fire phone, acc…

Read More