(Adds background to deal talks with Dish, Sprint)
By Nadia Damouni and Sinead Carew
NEW YORK, March 27 Clearwire Corp CLWR.O plans
to notify Sprint Nextel Corp (S.N) on Thursday that it will tap
another $80 million of financing in April as part of its deal
with the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier, two people close to the
In December, Sprint offered $2.97 per share to buy the rest
of Clearwire that it does not own, and provided the wireless
broadband operator up to $800 million in financing that it could
draw on in installments of $80 million over 10 months.
Clearwire had not tapped the financing in January or
February as it said that it was still reviewing a counter offer
from satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp (DISH.O). But
Clearwire drew on the money for the first time in March while
still saying it would keep talking to Dish.
Many Clearwire shareholders have said they were unhappy with
the Sprint offer, which would need approval from the majority of
Clearwire's minority investors. Sprint already owns almost a 51
percent stake in Clearwire.
The financing is in the form of debt that will be
convertible to Clearwire shares in the event that its
shareholders vote against Sprint's offer. So every installment
that Clearwire accepts would further weaken its minority
shareholders' clout in the future.
It is unclear if Dish, which made a counter offer for
Clearwire in January for $3.30 per share, is still in deal talks
with the carrier.
Spokesmen for Clearwire and Dish declined to comment, while
a spokesman for Sprint was not immediately available for
(Reporting by Nadia Damouni and Sinead Carew; Editing by Ryan
Keywords: CLEARWIRE SPRINTFINANCING/
(C) Reuters 2012. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of
Reuters content, including by caching, framing, or similar means, is
expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters
and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of
the Reuters group of companies around the world.