Clearwire has decided to delay its shareholder vote on Sprint's takeover proposal in order to review Dish Network's surprise revised offer.
The wireless broadband provider had initially scheduled a special shareholders meeting for Friday to hold a vote on the proposal, but the company announced Thursday it had rescheduled the meeting for June 13. While the company said it has not changed its recommendation that shareholders accept the current Sprint bid of $3.40 per share, Clearwire said Dish's revised proposal "appears to be more actionable than Dish's previous proposal."
Dish upped its ante in the bidding war for Clearwire on Wednesday with an offer of $4.40 per share in cash, a 29 percent premium over Sprint's revised offer of $3.40 per share for the 50 percent of the company it doesn't currently own. Sprint's new proposal, which edged Dish's surprise unsolicited bid of $3.30 per share by 10 cents, was the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier's second overture for Clearwire; the two companies announced last December that they had agreed to a deal for Sprint to acquire Clearwire for $2.97 per share.
Dish said it was "pleased" with Clearwire's decision to postpone the vote.
"We are confident that our offer is superior to the proposed Sprint merger as it offers substantially greater value to Clearwire and its minority stockholders and a clearer path to value realization for all parties," Dish said in a statement Thursday evening. "Importantly, it also provides a meaningful alternative to the significant group of Clearwire minority stockholders that remains opposed to the Sprint merger. Our offer is not subject to any financing contingency."
CNET has also contacted Sprint for comment and will update this report when we learn more.
According to Sprint, Clearwire partial owners Comcast, Intel, and BrightHouse, which collectively own about 26 percent of Clearwire's shares, have already endorsed Sprint's share-price increase, which the carrier has called its "best and final."
Clearwire, which provides 4G services to carriers and consumers, controls wireless spectrum that could be valuable to Dish, which recently won approval from the Federal Communications Commission to build its own LTE network.