NEW YORK (
thought they had the
deal all wrapped up, but boy,
(DISH - Get Report)
came in, offered more money. Now, Clearwire said they had already accepted the Sprint deal, but will they, can they, back out of it and take the better deal from Dish?
Maybe they have to make a deal with Charlie Ergen from Dish. Charlie Ergen is one of the great moguls. In an era where we don't have a lot of moguls left - a very wealthy man. I know the special committee's talking to my friend David Faber this morning on Squawk on the Street. David's the best reporter there is, especially when it comes to M&A, and he said, "Look, it's very complicated. We can't really make heads or tails of it, but I did not think that Clearwire could get to this point, and the reason I didn't is because, look, it was a buck stock not that long ago, and people thought it was going to be bankrupt." Suddenly it's a play on spectrum, and Ergen wants Spectrum. We don't know why he wants it so much spectrum, he's not really doing anything with it. But you know what? The minority wants a higher price, so I think Sprint's going to have to sit down at the table with Ergen. I don't know what happens, but it's astonishing
Or pay a break-up fee? Because that's usually what happens is once you've already agreed to a deal and you back out of it, you have to pay to back out of it.
Well then, why doesn't Ergen bid $3.50 if he wants it so badly? You know? Put your money where your mouth is, Charlie, and the answer is, he's got a big mouth. Now, I respect the richest man in Colorado (even wealthier than John Malone), but I look at this, and I say, "You're playing with fire. Because it's always possible that Clearwire gets cramped. In other words, that Sprint just says, "Listen, we're not talking to them." But the special committee's run by very powerful people who really are trying to get the most out of it, and I speculated that maybe the special committee has actually invited Ergen, but I think what Ergen's recognized is he can throw a monkey wrench in, maybe. He can get a little extra money for his people, but in the end, Ergen is a renegade and a maverick, and this is a renegade maverick thing to do, out from left field. We don't know what's going to be next. We know it's going to be complicated, but we also know that Ergen doesn't do anything idly. He's going to get something here, and it's going to be good.
It sounds like Clearwire's going to get a better price.
It sure does.
That's what it sounds like. Clearwire in a battle with Sprint, and now Dish.
--Written by Debra Borchardt in New York.
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