Google originally purchased a 6.5 percent stake in Clearwire back in 2008 for a cool $500 million. The initial appeal of Clearwire was its faster 4G WiMAX wireless network, which has since fallen behind the new wireless carrier standard of LTE. More recently, Clearwire has struggled to pay its operating bills, forcing its majority shareholder Sprint to lend it an injection of cash.
The documents state that Google is seeking to get $1.60 per share for a total of $47 million — less than one-tenth the price it originally paid for Clearwire’s share. On the surface it seems that Google is simply trying to get rid of its involvement in an investment that doesn’t have any growing possibilities for the other parts of its business. However, it’s very likely Google expects Clearwire to fail, which could be one reason for the fire sale on its stake in the company.
Google’s shares will become available for sale February 27.