Clearwire takes $80 million in financing from Sprint

It accepts Sprint's offer of financing in a move that may end Dish Network's bid to buy the wireless broadband provider.

Clearwire is tapping into the $800 million pool of financing Sprint has offered the company in a move that will likely make it more difficult for Dish Network to continue its bid for the carrier.

Clearwire said Thursday in a statement that it will take $80 million in financing from Sprint, which already owns a 51 percent stake in Clearwire, but is trying to buy the remaining shares. As part of its deal announced in December, Sprint agreed to pay Clearwire $2.2 billion and provide the company with up to $800 million in financing.

Meanwhile, satellite TV provider Dish Network has also put a bid in for Clearwire. In January it offered $5.15 billion for Clearwire.

In January, Clearwire shareholders asked Sprint to increase its bid to be more competitive with Dish's offer. Earlier this month, Clearwire indicated it was still considering the Dish bid . But now it looks like things may have changed.

Until now, Clearwire has not drawn from Sprint's financing. Since the financing offered to Clearwire could be converted into shares of the company, Dish and Clearwire have said in the past that if Clearwire were to accept the Sprint financing, Dish would likely withdraw its bid for the company.

Neither Sprint nor Dish have commented on this news yet.

About the author

Marguerite Reardon has been a CNET News reporter since 2004, covering cell phone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate, as well as the ongoing consolidation of the phone companies. E-mail Maggie.

 

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