Sprint Nextel in Talks to Take Full Ownership of Clearwire
USA based Sprint Nextel is reported to be considering a buyout of the minority shareholders in its Clearwire subsidiary.
The company had previously suggested that it was interested in buying out the other shareholders, and recently increased its holdings back above the 50% mark when it bought Eagle River Holdings's 4.5 percent stake in October.
The company reduced its holdings in the company last June, in part to avoid the risk of having to consolidate Clearwire's debt into its accounts. Sprint Nextel reduced its voting rights to 49.8% - from 53.7%, but retained its equity stake in the company at the current 68.2%.
The company currently onws 50.4% of the voting rights.
Citing two people familiar with the talks, Bloomberg News reported that a deal to buy out the remaining shareholders could be announced before the end of this year.
Sprint is currently in the midst of selling a majority stake in itself to Japan's Softbank in a deal which will see the US company get a cash injection of around US$8 billion to fund network upgrades - and acquisitions.
Sprint delayed its formally filing of statements relating to the Softbank takeover, reputedly due to the ongoing Clearwire talks.
In a recent filing, Fitch said that it would view an acquisition of Clearwire by Sprint that gives the company operating control as a positive event. This would allow Sprint to fully integrate those assets into its network, thus eliminating operating expenses, control spectrum resources longer term, and facilitate execution of its strategic plans.
On the web: Bloomberg News