With such a large discrepancy between the the two offers, some investors are deciding to withdraw or hold back their support for Sprint to see if they can get the nation's third largest carrier to raise its bid. Glenview Capital Management, with 28 million Clearview shares, is said to be rejecting Sprint's current offer says a source with knowledge of how the firm is thinking. Chris Gleason, a principal at Taran Asset Management which is another Clearwire holder, is planning to file a complaint with the FCC claiming that Clearwire is worth more than Sprint's bid. Similarly, Crest Financial Ltd. sent a letter to the FCC asking that the agency blocks Sprint's deal because it undervalues Clearwire's spectrum. Sprint is hoping that because the Dish offer is conditional, it won't have to make any changes to its bid.
"Sprint has the ability to get the deal done if they increase their offer. To pretend they don’t have to raise their bid is silly."-Chris Gleason, principal, Taran Asset Management
Speaking of spectrum, Dish wants it to become a mobile carrier. The company already has the blessings of the FCC to use spectrum it owns for satellite transmissions to be the centerpiece of a new mobile carrier as long as Dish follows certain power requirements to prevent interference with its signal. Dish CEO Charles Ergen said he is mulling over whether to go it alone or to add a partner. Meanwhile Sprint wants Clearwire's spectrum to enhance its current service.
While Clearwire's Special Committee has already approved the Sprint offer, the big funds will ultimately have a say in the outcome considering their large holding of stock. Their influence is somewhat limited by Sprint's ownership of a majority of Clearwire's stock. Also involved will be the arbs, who have presumably been buying the shares at current levels, hoping for a higher bid from Sprint. Both the arbs and the funds care about only one thing and that is fetching the highest price possible for their stock. Clearwire closed Thursday at $3.14 a share