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Sprint’s slightly tumultuous relationship with Clearwire may finally lead to a marriage.
After Sprint spent $1.6 billion to bail out Clearwire last December, sold off its Clearwire majority voting rights in June, and then reclaimed its majority voting status in October for $100 million, Sprint may finally be ready to buy Clearwire for $2.1 billion, Bloomberg reports based on a regulatory filing from this morning.
Sprint offered to buy out the rest of Clearwire’s remaining shares for $2.90, 5.5 percent more than Clearwire’s closing price yesterday. Sprint’s also offering interim financing up to $800 million to Clearwire while the deal is discussed.
After being on the ropes for years, Sprint received a hefty infusion of cash in October when Japan’s Softbank bought a 70 percent stake in the carrier for $20.1 billion.
Sprint initially joined up with Clearwire back in 2008 to build out a 4G WiMax network — which was slightly faster than 3G networks, but nowhere near as fast as LTE networks today. Clearwire holds a healthy amount of spectrum, which is why Sprint is so eager to maintain its relationship with the company, even if Clearwire has historically struggled to make money.
Photo via William Ross/Flickr