Arik Hesseldahl

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Dish Network Makes $5.15 Billion Offer for Clearwire

clearwire_4GSatellite TV player Dish Network has made an unsolicited offer to buy out Clearwire, the wireless broadband service that’s mostly owned by Sprint, for $3.30 a share, or about $5.15 billion.

Clearwire said the Dish offer amounts to only a preliminary indication of interest, and that while it intends to hold discussions with Dish, its ability to enter into strategic transactions is limited by its current relationship with Sprint.

Sprint, which is in the process of being bought out by the Japanese investment firm Softbank for about $20 billion, last month offered to buy out the remaining shares of Clearwire for $2.97 a share. That offer valued Clearwire at about $10 billion, including $5.5 billion worth of debt and spectrum lease obligations.

Sprint’s reaction to Dish’s offer has been to call it “illusory,” inferior to its own offer and “not viable” based on its existing commitments to Sprint.

It seems Charlie Ergen, the founder and chairman of Dish Network, will have a great deal to talk about at our D: Dive Into Media conference on Feb. 11-12 in Laguna Niguel, Calif.


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