Clearwire considering skipping interest payments

Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:45pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Clearwire Corp said it is "actively considering" whether or not to make an interest payment on June 1 on about $4.5 billion of outstanding debt, according to a proxy filing on Friday.

The wireless provider also disclosed it had received an unsolicited bid from a "strategic buyer" to acquire spectrum leases for $1 billion to $1.5 billion.

Clearwire has been at the center of a tug of war with its majority owner Sprint Nextel Corp, the satellite provider Dish Network and unhappy shareholders ever since Sprint struck a deal in December to buy out the rest of Clearwire.

Sprint offered $2.97 per share, which would need approval from a majority of Clearwire shareholders. In January, Dish had proposed a counter-bid for $3.30 per share.

Clearwire urged its shareholders to vote for a merger with Sprint, according to the proxy filing.

A Clearwire spokesman declined to comment beyond the filing.

Bellevue, Washington-based Clearwire, which has said it only has funding until year-end with help from Sprint, has been seeking financing to upgrade its network and to support operations.

Clearwire has received other offers for debt financing from minority shareholder Crest Financial and from hedge fund Aurelius Capital Management LP. [ID:nL3N0CWIN4]

Shares of Clearwire closed down 0.3 percent on Friday at $3.26.

(Reporting By Edwin Chan in San Francisco and Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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