Clearwire takes $80M from Sprint, continues talks with Dish

As it continues to weigh buyout offers, Clearwire has elected to take an $80 million investment from Sprint, a move that could impede the acquisition of satellite TV provider Dish Network.

Both Sprint and Dish are looking to buy Clearwire, the Bellevue wireless broadband operator that’s most coveted for its spectrum holdings.

Dish has said that it would withdraw its offer if Clearwire tapped into a financing package from Sprint which totals some $800 million. Earlier this year, Clearwire elected to bypass the financing from Sprint as it weighed the two offers.

Clearwire CEO Erik Prusch

However, Clearwire said that its special committee that was formed to investigate the buyout offers “intends to continue such discussions.”

“The Special Committee will pursue the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of Clearwire’s non-Sprint Class A stockholders,” Clearwire wrote.

Nonetheless, The Wall Street Journal reports that the investment from Sprint “further complicates” the buyout offer from Sprint.

Dish is offering $3.30 per share for Clearwire, while Sprint’s offer for the share of the company it doesn’t already own amounts to $2.97 per share.

Clearwire also said that it does not expect to enter into an accelerated network buildout plan with Sprint at this time.

Some investors have argued that Sprint’s bid is too low. Crest Financial, which owns eight percent of Clearwire, commissioned a study that was released yesterday indicating that Sprint’s offer undervalues Clearwire’s spectrum by about two to three times.

Clearwire finished 2012 with 9.6 million subscribers, down eight percent from the previous year. Its stock fell more than one percent today, trading at $3.16.