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Clearwire Endorses Sprint Bid While Staying Silent on Dish Offer

Clearwire Corp.’s board recommended shareholders vote for a Sprint Nextel Corp. takeover bid at a meeting this month, even while saying it’s not ready to announce a decision on a counteroffer by Dish Network Corp.

In a letter to investors, Clearwire said it was endorsing the $2.97-a-share bid after rejecting an earlier Sprint offer of $2.60. After consulting with independent financial and legal advisers, the board’s special committee concluded that the current price is fair. Sprint, which already owns more than 50 percent of Clearwire, is seeking to buy the remaining stake in a $2.2 billion deal.

“The Clearwire board has unanimously concluded that the proposed transaction with Sprint is the best strategic alternative for stockholders, representing fair, attractive and certain value, especially in light of the company’s limited alternatives and the well-known constraints of its liquidity position,” the Bellevue, Washington-based company said in the statement.

Investors are scheduled to vote on the offer on May 21. While it’s endorsing the Sprint bid, Clearwire said the move doesn’t represent a decision on a $3.30-a-share counteroffer from Dish, a satellite-TV company that’s also attempting a separate takeover deal for Sprint itself.

Clearwire has “no decision yet to announce” on Dish, said Mike DiGioia, a spokesman for the company. “Other offers, including the one from Dish, remain under evaluation.”

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