Crest Financial Asks FCC to Block Sprint-Clearwire Merger
WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2013
WASHINGTON, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Crest Financial Limited formally
asked the Federal Communications Commission to block the proposed mergers
between Softbank and Sprint and between Sprint and Clearwire.
Crest, a substantial minority shareholder of Clearwire, argues in a petition
filed late yesterday that that the proposed transactions grossly undervalue
the primary asset sought in both mergers – Clearwire's trove of wireless
spectrum. The filing notes that Sprint's offer for Clearwire sets the value of
Clearwire's spectrum at no more than $0.21 per MHz POP and, perhaps, as low as
$0.13 per MHz POP. By contrast, reports suggest that the purchase by AT&T of
Verizon spectrum announced last week sets the price at $3.77 per MHz POP, many
times higher than the Sprint bid.
The Crest petition asserts that an independent Clearwire would be financially
stronger and therefore better able to help consumers who are eager for
wireless services. Denying the mergers would be the FCC's best hope for
creating a vibrant, third wireless network, according to the petition. The
petition also alleges that the artificially depressed price of spectrum
established by the Sprint offer harms the public interest by setting a low
benchmark for future auctions of spectrum by the federal government.
The petition states: "Sprint has demonstrated its lack of fitness as a
controller of Clearwire's spectrum, and the Commission should not entrust
Sprint with the nation's largest portfolio of spectrum."
It adds: "Sprint has sought to achieve on the cheap what neither it, nor any
other carrier, has the capital to do otherwise: buy the entirety of
Clearwire's spectrum at fair market value. Sprint attempted to drive down the
value of Clearwire so that it could acquire Clearwire after Sprint gained
access to a funding source. But, absent Sprint's illegal maneuvering and
control tactics, Clearwire simply has too much spectrum, of too high a value,
to be acquired altogether by Sprint."
Crest and its affiliates and related persons currently own more than 57
million Class A shares, which constitute approximately 8.34 percent of
Clearwire's outstanding Class A common stock.
Crest's FCC petition can be found here: http://www.bancroftpllc.com/crest/.
Separately, David Schumacher, general counsel of Crest Financial, said of
recently reported talks between Dish Network and Clearwire: "As its FCC filing
states, Crest supports the sale of excess spectrum by an independent Clearwire
that reflects the spectrum values established in the recent AT&T/Verizon
transaction. However, this spectrum sale must not be part of a larger
agreement between Sprint and DISH that aims to carve up Clearwire's assets
between them on the cheap."
SOURCE Crest Financial Limited
Contact: Jeff Birnbaum, BGR Public Relations, +1-202-661-6367,
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