In other cellular news, Mid-December looked like Smooth sailing for Softbank’s US subsidiary Sprint as they announced they were buying all of on-again off-again pseudo subsidiary Clearwire. DISH just threw in a major monkey-wrench from left field, they want to buy Clearwire too for their own cellular aspirations.
While Sprint wants the company, DISH wants Spectrum but its willing to buy into Clearwire to get it. DISH is offering $3.30 per share for Clearwire in their unsolicited proposal opposed to Sprint’s $2.97. Specifically DISH wants 11.4mhz of Clearwire’s 2.5ghz band with an option for 2mhz. DISH’s currently proposed network operates in the 2ghz band and acquiring Clearwire assets would give them a leg up to get a LTE network up and running sooner.
While that is a quite a bit more when you tally up all the shares, what makes this so interesting is that DISH’s proposal has almost no chance of going through. Sprint has 50.5% of current shares. Any deal would require the Clearwire going over the head of its majority shareholder. Given its own interests, the chances Sprint would have no incentive for voting in favor of such a deal no matter what DISH throws at Clearwire.
Furthermore, Sprint contends that not only is Clearwire prohibited from selling its spectrum under the terms of the existing purchase agreement, but any change in control resulting from this proposal would require approval from 75% of voting shareholders. Once again, just more than half of those are Sprint. DISH had also prior to this deal been mentioned as someone could be a candidate to possibly enter a network sharing agreement with Sprint and Clearwire.
As to what DISH’s endgame is and what this effect it will ultimately have on Sprint’s takeover bid is a mystery. I can guarantee this won’t be the last you hear of it here at GeekBeat.