Today, Sprint upped its bid for Clearwire to $5 per share, besting Dish’s previous bid of $4.40 per share. In response, Clearwire’s board and Special Committee have backed the new offer.
Previously, Dish had pulled out of an offer to buy Sprint. Softbank had increased its offer price in response to Dish’s initial offer. That revamped bid, however, did not match Dish’s total offer price. Sprint walked from Dish after its board accepted the Softbank deal. Dish went on to say that, as a company, it:
continues to see strategic value in a merger with Sprint, the decisions made by Sprint to prematurely terminate our due diligence process and accept extreme deal protections in its revised agreement with SoftBank, among other things, have made it impracticable for DISH to submit a revised offer.
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Dish decided to focus its energies instead on picking up Clearwire, stating that it intended to “focus [its] efforts and resources on completing the Clearwire tender offer.” Now, Sprint appears to have spiked that deal as well.
The revised $5 per share Sprint offer for Clearwire is not a surprise. Reuters recently opined that “Sprint should raise Clearwire bid to avoid Dish tension.” It did. There might have been key conflicts if Dish’s offer had been accepted, according to the piece:
If Dish’s offer carries the day, Sprint would have some kind of relationship with Dish, whether the satellite service provider becomes a minority Clearwire shareholder or the two agree to a network partnership. Either way, such an arrangement could be fraught with difficulty for Sprint, analysts say.
Sprint had originally bid $3.40 per share for Clearwire. That it will now pay $5 per share is fair indication of how much it is both determined to own the company, and also keep Dish out of the picture.
Top Image Credit: Luz Bratcher