Facing the possibility of a shareholder revolt on Tuesday, Sprint at the last minute boosted its offer for Clearwire from $2.97 to $3.40 a share. Clearwire shareholders were set to vote today on the deal – which would give Sprint the roughly 50 percent of Clearwire it doesn’t already own — but Clearwire canceled its stockholder meeting when the new offer came in, rescheduling the vote for Thursday, May 30.
(Update: Clearwire has rescheduled the meeting again, this time for Friday, May 31.)
Ever since Sprint made its $2.1 billion buyout offer in December, Clearwire shareholders have been expressing increasing dissatisfaction with the terms of the deal, especially after Dish Network swooped in with a counter offer. Sprint’s new bid is 19 percent higher than its old one and beats out Dish’s $3.30-a-share proposal.
Even if Clearwire shareholders accept Sprint’s new terms, Dish isn’t going away. The company is playing multiple hands, offering to buyout Sprint itself, despite the buyout deal it struck with Softbank. Sprint has kept Dish at arm’s length throughout the negotiations, but on Monday Softbank agreed to let Sprint start working directly with Dish, releasing internal documents necessary for any merger negotiation.