Things are getting twisted over at Clearwire.
First, the company is drawing money from Sprint to complete a buyout transaction. That buyout of Clearwire by Sprint is a stepping stone to their Softbank buyout. Earlier today, we reported that DISH Network has made an offer to purchase Sprint from under Softbank, and why that could be good for both Sprint and Clearwire.
Are you following this? I sure hope so… it’s about to get weirder.
It now looks like Verizon has offered $1.5 billion to Clearwire for spectrum leases they hold. There is no word on which spectrum they’re bidding on, but our money is on AWS, which helps with their LTE offerings. Let’s be clear that this offer was for spectrum Clearwire leases, not owns.
The offer was disclosed in a filing with the SEC on Friday by Clearwire. While the offer is only listed as being made by a “Party J”, sources familiar with the matter tell the Wall Street Journal that Verizon is, indeed, responsible for that offer.
On top of the Sprint/Clearwire/Softbank/DISH/Verizon storm, there is also a rumor that Verizon is unhappy in their partnership with Vodafone. They, along with AT&T, were allegedly trying to purchase Vodafone. Verizon has debunked that, but remains resolute in their desire to take control of the 45% stake Vodafone has in Verizon.
None of this is surprising, but it is messy. Verizon has been keen to gobble up as much spectrum as possible, mostly via auction. While the Clearwire offer is unlikely, it does rest on the shoulders of some disgruntled board members over at Clearwire. It also weakens Clearwire’s value, as less their spectrum holdings and leases were very attractive to potential suitors.