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Clearwire investors to Sprint: Up your bid, please

Clearwire shareholders are asking Sprint to increase its $2.97 per share offer for the mobile broadband company, but soon-to-be majority stakeholder Softbank has capped the bid.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on

More Clearwire shareholders are adding their voice to the ever growing number of investors asking Sprint to raise its bid to buy the company, following Dish Network's higher, albeit unsolicited offer.

Glenview Capital Management plans to reject Sprint's current offer of $2.97 per share, which was capped by soon-to-be majority stakeholder Softbank, and wants more dollar for the company's worth.

Meanwhile, another Clearwire investor, Taran Asset Management, will file a complaint with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), arguing that the mobile broadband company is worth more than Sprint's offer, according to Bloomberg sources familiar with the matter.

Sprint already owns just over half of Clearwire, and wants to buy the rest of the company for $2.97 per share. But, Dish Network offered a much higher bid of $3.30 per share.

Sprint argues that its bid is "superior," give that it already owns half of the company. However, Dish argued that because the Sprint-Clearwire buyout rests on the Sprint-Softbank deal going through first -- in which the Japanese cellular giant made a bid to buy 70 percent of Sprint for $20.1 billion -- that its offer is simpler and easier to complete, and doesn't rest on other deals in order to stump enough cash to make the second deal work.

On Thursday, Dish filed a note with the FCC in a bid to try and pause the review of the Sprint-Softbank deal, knowing that should the regulator delay its decision or ultimately decide the deal should not go ahead, Sprint would be forced to drop out of the bid for buying the rest of Clearwire's shares, allowing Dish to muscle in and take it for its own.

For now, according to the report, Clearwire has made no decision on Sprint's offer, but said it would keep its options open regarding Dish's bid.

We've put in questions to Clearwire, but did not hear back at the time of writing. If we hear anything back, we'll update the piece.

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