CNBC has just reported that Sprint is closing in on a deal with Clearwire to acquire the remaining 49% of the company that it doesn’t already own. According to those anonymous people who are “close to the situation,” a deal is not imminent, although the two companies are actively negotiating, and an acquisition announcement could come as early as this month.
Sprint has apparently been talking with Clearwire’s major shareholders – including Bright House, Intel, and Comcast – about purchasing their stock holdings at about $3/share. It’s unclear how much Sprint would offer individual stockholders for their shares.
Any acquisitions on Sprint’s part are bound to get complicated, though, as Sprint is still looking to sell 70% of itself to Softbank in a deal that’s expected to close by March or April 2013. Still, the gains in spectrum are definitely worth any potential merger headaches – not to mention various other headaches Clearwire has caused for Sprint over the past few years.
Frankly, I’m a little surprised that Sprint hasn’t already purchased Clearwire. If Sprint had had more control over Clearwire’s WiMAX roll out, Sprint very well might not be in the precarious situation in which it finds itself today.