Dec 18 (Reuters) - Activist investor Crest Financial, which is looking to block Sprint Nextel's $2.2 billion purchase of Clearwire, said it raised its stake in Clearwire, giving it slightly more voting power against the deal.
Crest Financial said on Tuesday that it had increased its stake in Clearwire to 57.65 million shares, up from 45.8 million, giving it a stake of about 3.9 percent of Clearwire's shares outstanding.
Sprint needs the support of minority shareholders owning roughly 24.8 percent of Clearwire's total shares in order for the deal to go ahead. It already has support from shareholders owning 13 percent of Clearwire.
Analysts have said that they ultimately expect the deal to be approved despite complaints from shareholders about Sprint's offer price of $2.97 per share. Clearwire's shares closed at $2.87 on Tuesday.
Clearwire said on Monday that its board supports the Sprint deal and that it could risk a financial restructuring if it does not succeed.