Clearwire Battle Continues as DISH Tops Sprint’s Offer

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It’s nice to feel wanted, isn’t it?

Clearwire is in the catbird’s seat after DISH on Thursday increased its bid for the company to $4.40 per share an offer that bests Sprint’s latest bid by 30 percent and values the Bellevue, Wash.-based broadband provider at $6.5 billion, Reuters reported.

Sprint just last week upped its bid to $3.40 per share to stay ahead of DISH. America’s third-largest wireless carrier already owns about half of Clearwire; it wants the rest of the company’s valuable spectrum so that it can further build out its LTE network and offer more high-speed services. DISH is eager to start offering wireless services of its own.

"The Clearwire spectrum portfolio has always been a key component to implementing our wireless plans of delivering a superior product and service offering to customers," said Charlie Ergen, DISH’s chairman, in a prepared statement.

Might this be a game-changer for Clearwire’s shareholders, whom most analysts believe have been leaning toward Sprint? A committee formed by Clearwire’s board previously recommended selling to the Overland Park, Kan.-based carrier, and is holding off on making a switch.

The Special Committee of Clearwires board of directors has received Dish Networks offer and will review it to determine the best course of action for the company and its stockholders. The Special Committee has not made any determination to change its recommendation of the current Sprint transaction," Clearwire announced on Thursday.

This is all part of an even more complex M&A carousel involving the companies. DISH and SoftBank of Japan have both made bids to buy most of all of Sprint. Those transactions are also pending.

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