US wholesale network operator Clearwire is still considering a takeover bid by US satellite television company Dish Network despite a deal with US number-three operator Sprint being favoured, reports the Financial Times.
Sprint’s bid to acquire the 50 percent stake in Clearwire that it doesn’t already own, made in December, values the company at $2.97 per share, while the conditional offer from Dish is for $3.30 per share.
A regulatory filing by Clearwire said a special committee set up to consider the pros and cons of the two bids has not changed its recommendation for the current Sprint proposal but will continue to hold discussions with Dish before making a final recommendation to the board.
The committee said the Dish proposal cannot yet be recommended due to contractual requests that might not be permitted. Dish has said its counterbid would be withdrawn if Clearwire takes up an $800 million financing offer from Sprint to help fund a network rollout.
A proxy statement filed last week revealed that Clearwire chairman John Stanton is pressing for a higher offer from Sprint of $3.15 per share.
However the statement reiterated that Japanese operator SoftBank — currently in the process of acquiring a 70 percent stake in Sprint for $20 billion — has imposed a $2.97 per share limit on Sprint’s offer.
“Clearwire’s proxy makes very clear that Sprint’s definitive agreement to acquire Clearwire provides both the best value for shareholders and stability amid an uncertain future,” Sprint said in a statement.
However, Sprint’s bid to acquire Clearwire faces opposition from rival operator Verizon Wireless.