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.
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