Sprint snaps up the rest of Clearwire for $2.2 billion

US telecoms provider Sprint has purchased the remainder of Clearwire in a deal worth $2.2 billion.

Sprint announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the remaining 50 percent of the firm, following its previous investment in the mobile broadband company.  

The deal saw Sprint pay $2.97 per share, valuing the firm at a total of $10 billion, including net debt and spectrum lease obligations of $5.5 billion.   This meant an increase on the $2.60 per share that Sprint originally offered in its first bid last month.

The deal will see $800 million of additional financing available to Clearwire in the form of exchangeable notes, according to a Sprint statement.

The transaction was unanimously approved by Clearwire’s board, with shareholding companies such as Comcast and Intel indicating their support for the deal.  

Softbank, which has acquired 70 percent of Sprint, also gave the thumbs up to the deal.

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, who recently took a paycut, said that the deal will enable the firm to make the most of ClearWire’s wireless spectrum, adding it to its own network capacity.

“Today’s transaction marks yet another significant step in Sprint’s improved competitive position and ability to offer customers better products, more choices and better services,” Hesse said.  “Sprint is uniquely positioned to maximise the value of Clearwire’s spectrum and efficiently deploy it to increase Sprint’s network capacity.” 

He added: “We believe this transaction, particularly when leveraged with our SoftBank relationship, is further validation of our strategy and allows Sprint to control its network destiny.”

The deal is expected to be finalised in during the middle of 2013, coinciding with SoftBank’s investment in Sprint.