Ina Fried

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Clearwire’s Dissident Shareholder Mails Proxy, Taps Quinn Emanuel for Trial Duties

Crest Financial, the Clearwire shareholder looking to scuttle Sprint’s buyout, said Monday that it has hired noted litigation firm Quinn Emanuel to pursue its trial in the matter.

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Crest, Clearwire’s largest minority shareholder, also said it has mailed its proxy as it seeks to defeat the deal in a vote of shareholders.

Crest argues that Clearwire’s board is breaching its duties in approving a deal to sell the company to Sprint, which already owns a controlling interest in Clearwire. Sprint has offered $2.97 per share, an amount that Crest maintains undervalues the company.

“Sprint owes fiduciary duties — duties of loyalty and trust — which require it to protect the interests of the company’s minority stockholders,” Quinn said in a statement. “But instead of acting consistent with those duties, Sprint is thumbing its nose at the other stockholders and seeking to force a sale of Clearwire at a grossly inadequate price. Clearwire directors are doing Sprint’s bidding.”

Quinn is known for representing a wide range of tech firms in litigation, including its recent role on behalf of Samsung in its patent trial against Apple.

Four other minority shareholders joined Crest last week in opposing the deal.

In addition to the proxy battle, Crest has sued Clearwire, its board and Sprint in Delaware court, the case for which it has hired Quinn.

“The battle for Clearwire has just begun,” Crest wrote in its proxy, which was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission last week after being initially filed in April.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work