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Clearwire, Sprint Nextel in WiMax Deal

By Reuters  |  Posted 05-07-2008 Print
Next-generation wireless merger includes investments from Intel, Google, Comcast and others.

Clearwire and Sprint Nextel said on Wednesday they would combine their next-generation wireless broadband businesses to form a new $14.5 billion communications company.  

The two companies also said Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks have collectively agreed to invest $3.2 billion in Clearwire.

The investment, larger than had previously been reported, is based on a target price of $20 per share of Clearwire's common stock, the companies said, adding that industry veteran John Stanton would also invest directly in the new company.

Sprint will own about 51 percent of the new company. The existing Clearwire shareholders will own about 27 percent and the new strategic investors, as a group, will get about 22 percent.

WiMax, an emerging technology that could make wireless Internet ubiquitous, is expected to blanket entire cities with Web access for mobile devices at speeds up to five times faster than traditional wireless networks, but it is a largely unproven technology.

Shares in regular and after-hours trading on Tuesday rose 10 percent for Sprint and as much as 23 percent for Clearwire after sources said the long-awaited deal may be announced imminently.



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