The Washington Post

Sprint to buy stake in Clearwire

Sprint is moving to buy an addition stake in Clearwire, giving it control of the broadband firm.

Sprint already owns 48 percent of Clearwire — a partnership that has allowed Sprint to build out the 4G network it needs to compete with AT&T and Verizon.

The news follows Monday’s announcement that Japanese carrier Softbank would buy a 70 percent stake in Sprint for $20.1 billion.

Analysts have expected Sprint to seek more control of Clearwire, especially since the Softbank deal puts the firm in a more secure financial position. Building high-speed networks is a key part of Sprint’s turnaround plan and a high priority for Softbank chief executive Masayoshi Son.

According to a regulatory document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission,Sprint will buy 30.9 million shares of Class A stock and 2.7 million shares of Class B stock in Clearwire from Eagle River Holdings. Eagle River is owned by Clearwire’s founder, Craig McCaw.

As Dealbook reported, the transaction gives Sprint a majority 50.8 percent stake in the wireless network firm.

Clearwire declined to comment on the filing. Sprint officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.

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