Clearwire Corp (CLWR.O) shareholders voted positively on Monday on whether they will approve the majority stock holder Sprint Nextel Corp‘s (S.N) to acquire the rest of the stake of the company, in a long-lasting six-month struggle of all interested parties to reach a beneficial agreement.
Clearwire Corp is a small US wireless operator. However, the company retains a number of strategically important wireless spectrum licenses, which major companies willingly would fight to take control of, in order to implement high-speed internet projects.
According to Clearwire, 82 percent of minority shareholders voted in favor of the deal, accepting Sprint’s offer to acquire more than 49 percent of Clearwire stocks, which currently does not own, for $5 per share.
Meanwhile, Sprint agreed on its acquisition by Japan’s SoftBank Corp, a decision which must be sanctioned by the majority of minority shares in an almost identical situation to Clearwire and Sprint negotiation.
However, Sprint had to increase its bid three times to ease opposite opinions refusing the buyout. In addition, rival bids emerged during discussions by the satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp (DISH.O), which only made things worse for Sprint.
SoftBank and Sprint say that they are going to use the spectrum, on which Clearwire owns exclusive rights, to compete in the high-speed market with adversaries Verizon Wireless (VZ.N) (VOD.L) and AT&T Inc (T.N).
Sprint’s initial offer for Clearwire was $2.90 in last December, to be raised though soon after shareholders rejected the bid, stating that the price was away far from the true value of the company. In January, as well as in May, Dish raised twice the offer in an attempt to acquire Clearwire and expand into the wireless market.
John Stanton, Clearwire chairman, said to a small gathering, which lasted merely 12 minutes during the shareholders’ meeting, that “it was a very long journey” which came to an anticipated end. On July 9, the agreement will be typically signed, while SoftBank will follow the next day buying 78 percent of Sprint for $21.6 billion.