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TheDeal: Sprint Nextel Raises Clearwire Bid

Shares of Clearwire have more than doubled since early December, when they traded around $2.40 each. Sprint disclosed in a Dec. 13 regulatory filing that its board had authorized it to pay $2.90 per share for Clearwire's minority equity.

On Dec. 17, Sprint announced that it would pick up the minority shares for $2.97 per share.

Dish came forward with a bid of $3.30 per share on Jan. 8. Sprint trumped that bid in May with an offer of $3.30, though Ergen followed with his $4.40 bid later that month.

Sprint said it has the support of Clearwire shareholders Mount Kellett Capital Management LP, Glenview Capital Management LLC, Chesapeake Partners Management Co. and Highside Capital Management LP, which together hold about 9% of the vote.

Including the support of Comcast Corp., Intel Corp. and Bright House Networks LLC along with Clearwire executives and directors, Sprint said it has 45% of the vote.

Minority shareholder Crest Financial Ltd., which has about 4% of the total vote and has vocally oppose Sprint's prior offers, did not have an immediate response.

-- Written by Chris Nolter in New York.
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