Just a few months ago we shared the exciting news that Sprint would be merging with another company called Softbank which will greatly enhance their ability to compete with Verizon and AT&T. Not long after that, Sprint made a move to increase their stock position of their partner Clearwire, by purchasing a 51% interest, thus gaining board control of the company. This move was likely to make them more attractive to Softbank, and to help give them control of Clearwire's larger business decisions. Some news this morning suggests that Sprint is in advanced talks to solidify that move even further by buying out the remaining 49% stock in Clearwire. This would give Sprint exclusive control over the company, and full access to their wireless spectrum holdings.
It makes sense that Sprint would consider this move now. Although Clearwire's stock price is worth about $1.8 Billion, they are swimming in red ink and loaded with debt. This could make a full buyout potentially very cheap. And, of course, if the deal with Softbank goes through, then Sprint will have an additional $8 Billion to play around with. Of course, none of this is a foregone conclusion as there will be several regulatory hurdles for these companies to jump through to make all of this happen. Regardless, investors in Clearwire liked the news, and stocks in the company jumped almost 15% to $2.75 per share.