Sprint Tops DISH’s Bid for Clearwire

Clearwire shareholders appear to be in for quite a windfall.

Sprint has increased its bid for the Bellevue, Wash-based broadband provider to $5 per share, valuing Clearwire at $14 billion. That’s 47 percent higher than its last bid of $3.40 per share, and 14 percent more than DISH Network’s counteroffer from last month. The carrier says it has received commitments from a group of significant Clearwire stockholders to support the transaction.

Clearwire’s stock price has doubled in the last six months, up more than 7 percent on today’s news, to $5.05 per share.

Sprint already owns half of Clearwire, so this bid is for the remaining shares it doesn’t already own. The carrier wants the company’s valuable spectrum to help it further build out its 4G LTE network and to offer more high-speed wireless services.

DISH Network, which just today said it was backing away from its efforts to buy Sprint for which it bid $25.5 billion in an attempt to focus on its proposed purchase of Clearwire, wants to get into the wireless game. Sprint announced earlier this week that it was suing DISH over the satellite provider’s offer that it said violated Delaware law and the rights of Clearwire shareholders.

Meantime, SoftBank of Japan is in the process of buying 70 percent of Sprint for more than $21 billion.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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