Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Tuesday’s Clearwire Vote a Key Moment for Sprint, but Won’t Settle Things

Sprint’s bid to acquire network operator Clearwire is up for a shareholder vote Tuesday, but the deal’s fate remains uncertain.


While Sprint already owns 51 percent of Clearwire, the deal requires the approval of the majority of shares voted by Clearwire’s other owners.

And the biggest of those — Crest Financial — strongly opposes the deal and has been soliciting votes against it, arguing that Clearwire is worth way more than the $2.97 per share that Sprint has offered. According to a Reuters analysis, the current deal is unlikely to pass. Wall Street also seems to be betting on a higher bid, as Clearwire shares closed trading last week at $3.20.

Crest has also sued to block a Sprint deal, hiring noted law firm Quinn Emanuel to make its case.

Pass or not, though, Sprint itself is still the subject of competing offers. Its board approved a deal with SoftBank. And Dish countered with its own offer. Both sides say their offer is the better one.

Sprint shareholders are due to vote June 12 on the SoftBank deal, an offer that has the backing of Sprint’s board and management. However, a special committee of Sprint directors is considering whether Dish’s intent is likely to lead to a “superior offer.” If so, it could change its stance on the SoftBank deal.

So, basically it’s all clear as mud. We’ll see if things look any clearer after Tuesday’s vote than they do now.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik