In the face of shareholder opposition, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) this morning delayed the vote on its bid for the half of Clearwire it doesn't already own in order to raise the bid. The original price of $2.97 had been getting substantial pushback from investors, especially from Crest Financial. The new bid price stands at $3.40, an extra $0.43 per share.
Will that be enough? Clearly Sprint is trying to do what DT did last month to win over MetroPCS supporters, i.e. gauge what bid will win the day and just get it over with. Since $3.40 is just above where the stock market had decided it ought to be, it is a logical choice to bring a bit of clarity to the situtation.
Meanwhile, Dish and Softbank are still mixing it up in the competition for Sprint, and Dish is apparently also bidding some $2B for LightSquared's spectrum. Charlie Ergen has one heck of an active checkbook these days.
But with DISH no longer in the picture at the mere Clearwire level, Sprint still was apparently going to lose the shareholder vote today on the strength of the value of all that spectrum despite the fact that Clearwire has few other choices here. The new date for that vote is next Thursday, May 30.
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