Clearwire may tap financing from Sprint Nextel – WSJ

Reuters News

2/26/13

Clearwire Corp plans to tap financing from Sprint Nextel, in a move that further complicates Dish Network’s effort to buy Clearwire, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Dish made an offer of $3.30 per share for the wireless broadband operator, which had already agreed to sell itself to majority owner Sprint for $2.97 per share. A special committee on the Clearwire board is reviewing the Dish offer.

Clearwire has the option to draw on $80 million of financing from Sprint on March 1, part of an arrangement that would gradually give Sprint a bigger stake in Clearwire.

Clearwire has already foregone the opportunity to draw $160 million in January and February. Dish has said it would withdraw its offer if Clearwire took the financing.

One of the people familiar with the situation told the Journal that Clearwire’s draw of financing from Sprint Nextel was not intended to dissuade Dish from pursuing the company.

Clearwire and Sprint declined to comment to Reuters. Dish had no comment on the Journal report when contacted by Reuters.

Last week, Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen said the company would consider partnering with Sprint in its pursuit of Clearwire.