Comcast, Intel to Sell Clearwire Stakes to Sprint Anyway

Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) and Intel Corp. (INTC), investors in wireless broadband venture Clearwire Corp. (CLWR), agreed to sell their stakes to Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) for $2.97 a share even if investors reject Sprint’s offer.

Clearwire said yesterday that its board agreed to an increased offer of $2.2 billion from Sprint, which is seeking full ownership of the company. Comcast and Intel, along with Bright House Networks LLC, own about 13 percent of Clearwire’s voting shares, the companies said.

The deal with the investors is conditional on the completion of Softbank Corp.’s $20.1 billion bid for Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint, according to a regulatory filing today. Even if that deal collapsed, the companies would sell their stakes if Sprint completes an alternative transaction, the filing shows.

Cable-television operator Comcast and Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor maker, bought into Bellevue, Washington- based Clearwire in 2008 alongside Sprint. The phone company is garnering support from them even as minority shareholders such as Mount Kellett Capital Management LP and Crest Financial Ltd. are challenging the deal.

Crest increased its stake in Clearwire to 8.34 percent from 6.62 percent, according to a separate filing today. The company said in a statement accompanying the filing that it “continues to oppose the proposed merger of Clearwire with Sprint.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Serena Saitto in New York at ssaitto@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey McCracken at jmccracken3@bloomberg.net; Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net

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