Clearwire Investor Mount Kellett Forms Group Opposing Sprint

Mount Kellett Capital Management LP said it forged an alliance with other Clearwire Corp. investors to coax Sprint Nextel Corp. into making a better takeover offer for the struggling wireless Internet company.

The group, which also includes Highside Capital Management LP, Glenview Capital Management LLC, Chesapeake Partners Management Co. and others, has 18.2 percent of Clearwire’s publicly traded shares, they said today in a filing. The group seeks to persuade Sprint to increase its $2.97-a-share bid.

The price offered by Sprint is “too low,” the group said in the filing.

The shareholders, which don’t include another vocal opponent of the deal -- Crest Financial -- said they formed the group May 1 to “engage in discussions with relevant and interested parties to seek to maximize shareholder value.”

The investor group will also pursue discussions with other parties, including Dish Network Corp., which has presented a competing bid for Clearwire of $3.30 a share. Bellevue, Washington-based Clearwire said this week that it will need at least $1.7 billion in financing to cover operations through 2014. The company has scheduled a May 21 special shareholder meeting to vote on the offer from Overland Park, Kansas-based Sprint.

Clearwire rose 3 percent to $3.38 at the close in New York, while Sprint climbed less than 1 percent to $7.15. Englewood, Colorado-based Dish rose 1 percent to $39.68.

Scott Sloat, a spokesman for Sprint, and Mike DiGioia, a spokesman for Clearwire, both declined to comment on Mount Kellett’s alliance.

Sprint holds a stake of just over half of Clearwire, mostly through a separate class of shares that aren’t publicly traded.

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