Feeds

Clearwire board to shareholders: Go on, grab that Dish cash

Sprint looks on in dismay

Business security measures using SSL

The board of Clearwire has unanimously recommended that shareholders take the Dish cash, despite the fact that the broadband wireless firm's biggest shareholder is dead set against the deal.

That shareholder is Sprint, which already owns the majority of Clearwire and has offered $3.40 per share for the rest. But, just days before the vote, Dish trumped that with $4.40 a share, a deal the Clearwire board is now recommending to shareholders.

Sprint and Dish are currently tussling over Clearwire because of its portfolio of prized wireless spectrum, which will ultimately be of great value to whoever acquires it.

Sprint can't just push though its offer, despite the majority holding, so a Special Committee "consisting of independent, non-Sprint-affiliated directors" looked at the deals and unsurprisingly agreed that an additional dollar per share was in the interest of all present.

Dish Network is offering more money, but it comes with strings attached and Sprint had hoped to gain complete ownership of Clearwire while Sprint itself being bought by Softbank.

Tokyo-based Softbank raised its offer for Sprint earlier this week, after its original offer (of $6.30 a share, around $20bn) was topped by Dish, which wants to absorb both Clearwire and Sprint to create a viable competitor to AT&T and Verizon in the US mobile space.

Dish was offering $7 a share for Sprint, putting the price somewhere around $25bn of which it has raised almost ten. The rest would be debt, and the deal would have to jump through various regulatory hoops too while Softbank has already completed that stage.

Softbank's new offer hits $7.48 a share. Not only that, but Softbank has convinced Sprint to require alternative bids to be fully financed and, The New York Times tells us, enact a shareholders' rights plan which would prevent Dish from making an offer direct to shareholders.

All of which looks a bit grim for Dish Network and its rambunctious chairman Charlie Ergen.

Softbank has said it doesn't mind if Dish gets a share of Clearwire; once it owns Sprint it will have a controlling interest anyway, but without that control, and without Sprint's infrastructure, it's hard to see how Dish Network can get into the mobile industry at all.

The Clearwire vote has now been pushed to 24 June, while the Softbank/Sprint deal won't wrap up until 1 July, so there's still plenty of time for everything to change, again. ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.