Google is selling its 6.5% stake in ClearWire for well below market value, thus turning its back on the WiMAX provider. A SEC filing today confirmed the sale. Google will be selling the shares for $1.60 apiece, much less than the current trading price of $2.27. The search behemoth bought its ClearWire stake for nearly $500 million back four years ago in 2008, and now it’s selling them for around $47 million.
The share sales will be made via open market transactions around February 27th.
“Google periodically rebalances its investments based on its goals and its evaluation of market conditions,” Google succinctly explained the purpose of transaction in the filing.
This doesn’t give a clear reason why Google wants to ditch ClearWire now, but it’s clear that the decision should have something to do with WiMAX as a fading technology.
ClearWire itself said it is looking to build an LTE network in the future and sought funding from Sprint and other investors back in August 2011. Most recently, the company said it will roll out the 4G LTE network over 5,000 cell sites by June 2013. The LTE network will allow Sprint to catch up with Verizon and AT&T in high speed data.