Hours before a stockholders vote was going to take place, one which Sprint was sure to lose, the latter came in with a $3.40 a share bid for Clearwire which topped Dish by a dime. But Ergen wanted Clearwire's spectrum to help Dish start a new wireless carrier. Dish raised its bid to $4.40 which topped Sprint by a full dollar. It looked like Dish had won until Sprint pulled out a $5 bid for the remaining shares. The company that Sprint said was worth no more than $2.90 in December, was all of a sudden worth 72% more.
And all of this occurred during SoftBank's ultimately successful purchase of 78% of Sprint for $21.6 billion, a deal that Dish Network was also involved in. Dish had offered $25.5 billion for all of Sprint, but came away a two-time loser. The stockholder's meeting took all of 12 minutes to complete and Clearwire says it will close the deal on July 9th, a day before the Sprint-SoftBank deal is set to close. Clearwire chairman John Stanton wrapped the whole deal up in a short comment. "This has been a very long journey," the executive noted.