News of the bid sent Clearwire shares soaring more than 11% in Friday morning trading, above $3 a share, while Sprint shares dropped about $1%.
While Sprint’s bid is a 5% premium over the Wednesday closing price of Clearwire shares, analysts expressed doubt that Clearwire shareholders would sell at that price and predicted that Sprint would have to raise its offer in order to acquire the rest of the company, Reuters noted.
Sprint is Clearwire’s largest shareholder, owning more than half the company. Acquiring the remainder of the company would allow Sprint to control its wireless spectrum holdings, boosting its own wireless service to compete with larger rivals AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ).
In October, Japan’s Softbank (PINK:SFTBY) announced plans to acquire a 70% stake in Sprint. Analysts had expected Sprint to purchase the rest of Clearwire using cash provided by the Softbank investment.