Clearwire investors ask Sprint to up its bid, report says

Company shareholders are asking Sprint to increase its $2.97 per share bid for the mobile broadband provider, but majority stakeholder Softbank has capped the bid.

More Clearwire shareholders are adding their voice to the ever growing number of investors asking Sprint to raise its bid for the company, following Dish Network's higher -- albeit unsolicited -- offer.

Glenview Capital Management plans to reject Sprint's current bid of $2.97 per share, which was capped by Softbank, an investment company that's seeking to take a majority stake in the carrier. Another Clearwire investor, Taran Asset Management, will file a complaint with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), arguing that the mobile broadband company is worth more than Sprint's offer, according to Bloomberg, which cited unnamed sources.

Sprint already owns just more than half of Clearwire and wants to buy the rest of the company, but Dish Network offered a bid of $3.30 per share.

Sprint argues that its $2.97 bid is "superior," because its existing stake in the company means a deal is assured. However, Dish argues that because the Sprint-Clearwire buyout depends on the Sprint-Softbank deal -- in which the Japanese cellular giant made a bid to buy 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion -- Dish's offer is simpler and easier to complete, and doesn't rely on other deals to stump enough cash to make it work.

On Thursday, Dish filed a note with the FCC in an effort to try to pause the review of the Sprint-Softbank deal, knowing that should the regulator delay its decision or ultimately decide the deal shouldn't go ahead, Sprint could be forced to drop its bid to buy the rest of Clearwire's shares, allowing Dish to move in.

For now, according to Bloomberg, Clearwire has made no decision on Sprint's offer but said it would keep its options open regarding Dish's bid. Clearwire has also said that complications regarding its ongoing relationship with Sprint make it difficult to weigh other offers.

An external PR spokesman for Clearwire said the company isn't commenting on the Bloomberg report.

Updated 4:33 p.m. PT: Added comment from a spokesman for Clearwire.

 

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