Sprint's Stake in Clearwire Falls Below 50%

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has revealed that it is no longer the majority owner of its 4G partner, Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), after additional fundraising by the WiMax operator.

Sprint says that it will now take on full voting rights again, after selling off shares last year to avoid a default trigger on its own debt should Clearwire get into trouble. "Now that our economic interest has fallen below 50 percent, we are reclaiming our full voting rights so that our voting rights and economic rights are once again aligned," Sprint spokesman Scott Sloat told Reuters.

Clearwire undertook a fresh public offering in December 2011. The operator has also been looking for further vendor funding this year.

Why this matters
Sprint has been the majority owner of Clearwire since May 2008 when it merged its WiMax assets with the venture. Sprint remains Clearwire's largest single shareholder and wholesale customer. (See Sprint, Clearwire Create $14.5B WiMax Giant.)

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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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