by Nate Wooley | October 18, 2012 9:50 am
As soon as today, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) could announce that it has gained control of Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR).
Sprint is purchasing a 4.5% share of Clearwire from Eagle River Holdings, Bloomberg is reporting. With Sprint already owning 48% of Clearwire, the purchase gives the third-largest wireless company outright control of the smaller firm.
The deal is valuable for Sprint for two reasons. First, it gives the firm control over Clearwire’s wireless network. Second, Clearwire has access to a large swath of spectrum that Sprint can use to expand its wireless data capability.
The deal helps secure the earlier announced acquisition of Sprint by Softbank, a Japanese wireless firm. By getting the new spectrum and networking assets, Sprint ensures that Softbank will receive value for the $20.1 billion the Japanese company is investing in the Kansas-based firm.
Sprint, locked in competition with AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), had earlier made overtures to Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) for their shares of Clearwire but chose to purchase Eagle River Holding’s shares instead.
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