After the Federal Communications Commission last week blessed the three-way tie-up between Sprint, SoftBank and Clearwire, there was only formality left. Clearwire shareholders had to vote for approval, which they did by a big margin Monday afternoon.
Sprint already owned more than half of the WiMAX operator, but it needed the approval of Clearwire’s other shareholders to close the deal. It got 82 percent of all eligible votes. There weren’t many other options than accepting Sprint’s $5-a-share offer. Dish Network had already withdrawn its own bid to invest in Clearwire after Sprint trumped its $4.40-per-share offer. The other option would have been to reject Sprint and continue on as a cash-strapped carrier with a partially completed network.
Now all of the votes and formalities are complete. The three companies just need to close these deals. Sprint expects to formally acquire Clearwire on Tuesday, followed Wednesday by SoftBank officially making its $21.6 billion investment in Sprint. This should all be wrapped up by the end of the week.