Dish Network said it won’t make a new offer to buy Sprint Nextel in time for a deadline and will instead focus on its tender offer for Clearwire. The decision is good news for Japan’s SoftBank, which is also trying to buy Sprint. Dish said in a statement that it was not practical for it to submit a revised offer by the 6/18 deadline imposed by Sprint: “While DISH continues to see strategic value in a merger with Sprint, the decisions made by Sprint to prematurely terminate our due diligence process and accept extreme deal protections in its revised agreement with SoftBank, among other things, have made it impracticable for DISH to submit a revised offer by the June 18th deadline imposed by Sprint. We will consider our options with respect to Sprint, and focus our efforts and resources on completing the Clearwire tender offer.”
Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen is also bidding against Sprint to buy out the minority shareholders of Clearwire, which is already majority owned by Sprint.
Clearwire’s board last week recommended that its shareholders vote against Sprint’s $3.40 per share offer at a special meeting scheduled for 6/24 and instead urged them to accept Dish’s tender offer to buy Clearwire shares for $4.40 each.
SoftBank raised its bid for Sprint 6/10 to $21.6 billion from its previous offer of $20.1 billion. The offer would leave SoftBank with 78% ownership of Sprint.