From the "well that's incredibly unsurprising" department comes news that Sprint is in talks with Clearwire to acquire the 49% of the company it currently doesn't already own. Anonymous sources tell CNBC
that while deal "is not imminent," talks are ongoing and a deal could be announced by the end of the year (which sounds somewhat imminent to me).
Given Sprint's looming majority acquisition by SoftBank, the mechanics of such a deal are highly complicated, and could potentially delay any deal.
The source says Sprint has been in talks with all of Clearwire'es remaining partners in an effort to try and acquire the remaining shares:
Still, in recent days Sprint has had significant conversations with a number of Clearwire's big shareholders, which include Bright House, Intel and Comcast, aimed at purchasing their stock at roughly $3.00 a share, according to people familiar with the conversations.
The price that Sprint would offer for the 488 million shares that are held by the public remains unclear, and while a special committee of Clearwire's directors might agree to a similar price, it remains to be seen whether a tender at that price would succeed.
With a deep pocketed sugar daddy in Japan's Softbank
, the acquisition of Cleawire and a potential looming deal with Dish
, Sprint's 2013 has very quickly gotten much more interesting. Earlier anonymous sources had insisted
no SoftBank acquisition of Clearwire was looming, though this technically would be Sprint first acquiring Clearwire, before themselves being acquired by SoftBank. Some analysts
have suggested that Sprint and SoftBank have been busy maneuvering to prevent Dish from acquiring Clearwire before they could.