Sprint today confirmed in a press release that it will acquire the roughly 50 percent of Clearwire it doesn’t already own, giving it 100 percent ownership of the company in deal worth $2.2 billion:
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. & BELLEVUE, Wash. (BUSINESS WIRE), December 17, 2012 – Sprint (NYSE:S) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the approximately 50 percent stake in Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR) it does not currently own for $2.97 per share, equating to a total payment to Clearwire shareholders, other than Sprint, of $2.2 billion. This transaction results in a total Clearwire enterprise value of approximately $10 billion, including net debt and spectrum lease obligations of $5.5 billion.
The transaction will take place for $2.2 billion paid to Clearwire’s shareholders (other than Sprint), or $2.97 per share. Sprint explained it is a “128 percent premium to Clearwire’s closing share price the day before the Sprint-SoftBank discussions were first confirmed.” Sprint also said the spectrum acquired from Clearwire, in combination with its own, will provide “an enhanced spectrum portfolio that will strengthen its position and increase competitiveness in the U.S. wireless industry.” As noted in the release, Softbank, which is currently slated to take control of Sprint in mid-2013, gave its consent to the Clearwire deal as required:
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“Today’s transaction marks yet another significant step in Sprint’s improved competitive position and ability to offer customers better products, more choices and better services. Sprint is uniquely positioned to maximize the value of Clearwire’s spectrum and efficiently deploy it to increase Sprint’s network capacity. We believe this transaction, particularly when leveraged with our SoftBank relationship, is further validation of our strategy and allows Sprint to control its network destiny.”