Sprint Nextel has filed a lawsuit against Dish and Clearwire seeking to prevent Clearwire from accepting Dish’s tender offer as well as other injunctive and compensatory relief.
The lawsuit details how Dish has “repeatedly attempted to fool Clearwire’s shareholders into believing its proposal was actionable in an effort to acquire Clearwire’s spectrum and to obstruct Sprint’s transaction with Clearwire,” Sprint said in a statement on Monday.
The 46-page lawsuit said Clearwire’s board of directors “panicked” by dumping a planned merger with Overland Park-based Sprint in favor of an “illegal” rival bid by Dish.
Dish Network said today it would not make a new offer to buy Sprint and will instead focus on its tender offer for Clearwire Corp.
Dish said in a statement that it was not practical for it to submit a revised offer by the June 18 deadline imposed by Sprint even though it “continues to see strategic value in a merger with Sprint.” The decision may be good news for Japan’s SoftBank, which is also trying to buy Sprint.
Sprint announced in December that Clearwire had agreed to a deal to sell the 50 percent of Clearwire that Sprint does not currently own for $2.97 per share, or $2.2 billion. But Dish countered with a surprise unsolicited bid for Clearwire of $3.30 per share, or $5.15 billion.
Sprint revised its proposal last month to $3.40 a share, edging Dish’s offer by 10 cents a share, an offer Sprint called its “best and final.” Two days before stockholders were scheduled to vote on Sprint’s proposal, Dish came back with an offer that exceeded Sprint’s by $1 a share, valuing the company at $6.3 billion.
The WSJ explains How Clearwire Became the Darling of Telecom.
John Stanton, the current chairman of the board of Clearwire, is a legendary deal maker. Craig McCaw’s alter ego created McCaw Cellular on 800 MHz from scratch, and orchestrated the sale to AT&T for $12 billion. He then created Western Wireless on the 1.9 Ghz PCS band (which became T-Mobile USA) and transformed Nextel into a cellular service, which was then sold to Sprint.
Related Dailywireless articles include; Clearwire Board Backs Dish, SoftBank Upps the Bid for Sprint, Un-Clearwire?, Clearwire Ownership Vote Delayed 2 Weeks, Battle for Clearwire, Clearwire Committee Likes Sprint Offer Best, Verizon to Buy Clear Spectrum for $1.5 Billion?, Sprint Buyout of Clearwire Fought by Crest Financial, Sprint to Buy Clearwire, DISH Proposes to Buy Clearwire, Sprint Buying Clearwire?, Sprint + Dish?, Sprint Gets Majority Control over Clearwire, Sprint Won’t Buy Clear – For Now, Clearwire Cuts TD-LTE Deployment