Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch met with employees this week to reassure them that even though Sprint has offered to buy the company for $2.2 billion, it remains “business as usual” until the deal is completed next year. Prusch also addressed the jobs of workers, pointing them to a FAQ related to the pending transaction.
As is typically the case in deals of this kind, layoffs are expected. But Prusch said that Clearwire would have had to evaluate cutbacks anyway, no matter if the Sprint deal occurred. Clearwire employed 1,053 people at the end of September, including about 400 in the Seattle area.
“Our employees are some of our most valuable assets. As the transaction continues on its path, Clearwire has critical work to be done, and it is essential that we provide everyone with recognition, opportunity, training and reward – the same as we have in the past. In the normal course of business, we may be adding more positions and perhaps reducing or restructuring others as we would have done regardless of this pending transaction. While we await closing on this transaction, we remain an independent business.
Meanwhile, Crest Financial, a Houston-based investor which has already filed a suit against Sprint and Clearwire, has boosted its stake in the Bellevue broadband wireless company. The financial firm said in a press release that it now owns 57.6 million share of the Clearwire’s Class A stock, roughly 8.34 percent. That’s up from 6.62 percent, which it had previously owned.
In a release, Crest said that its purchase “demonstrates its willingness to further invest in Clearwire and its confidence in Clearwire’s network build-out plan.” It also noted that it will “protect itself and other minority shareholders in Clearwire from the unfair dealings of Sprint and Clearwire in this matter.”
Here’s the memo that went out from Prusch to employees:
Team –Thank you to everyone who was able to attend yesterday’s employee meeting on such short notice (and apologies on the technical difficulties). As I mentioned, we’re working as quickly as possible to finalize all of the HR details related to the pending transaction with Sprint.Many of you had questions yesterday about topics such as RSUs, impact on jobs etc., and attached is an initial FAQ. We’ve also created a page on MAX for ongoing updates related to the transaction. You’ll hear more in the coming days and weeks as new information becomes available. In the meantime, if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to me or your manager. You can also direct questions to Human Resources Communications.As I mentioned yesterday, this transaction is not expected to close until Q2 or Q3 of next year. It’s very much business as usual and we remain an independent company with much work to do. Let’s continue focusing on our goals and close out a strong fourth quarter.Erik