October 18, 2012 / 11:13 AM / in 5 years

Sprint Nextel assumes majority stake in Clearwire

(Reuters) - Wireless carrier Sprint Nextel Corp (S.N) has acquired voting control of Clearwire Corp CLWR.O after buying out one of the company’s other shareholders, Sprint said in a securities filing on Thursday.

Sprint reached the deal with Eagle River Holdings on Wednesday and now controls a 50.8 percent stake in Clearwire, the filing said.

    The Clearwire deal comes less than a week after Sprint agreed to sell 70 percent of itself to Japan’s Softbank Corp (9984.T) in a $20 billion transaction.

    Following that deal, analysts and investors widely expected Sprint to acquire or at least assume control of Clearwire, in which it already held a nearly 50 percent stake.

    FBR Capital Markets, in a note to clients Thursday, said the deal eliminates a major risk for Sprint, in that it can now control Clearwire’s valuable spectrum assets and ensure unfettered access to them.

    Reporting By Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick

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