NEW YORK (Reuters) - Clearwire Corp CLWR.O shares rose more than 1 percent after the wireless service provider said board member Ben Wolff is also acting as a strategic adviser, raising the possibility that it soon might raise more money.
Clearwire, which is 54 percent owned by Sprint Nextel S.N, must raise billions of dollars to complete a high-speed wireless network and help it compete with bigger rivals such as Verizon Wireless.
Wolff has also been hired as adviser and would get a fee if Clearwire enters any transactions on which he advised, Clearwire said in a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.
Investors see the agreement as a sign that the company has new funding in its sights, said Mizuho Securities analyst Michael Nelson.
“I think Wolff took the assignment thinking he had a high likelihood of making the deal,” Nelson said.
He said it’s more urgent now that Clearwire expand its network because its competitors are marketing their own high-speed wireless services.
Wolff replaced the company’s founder Craig McCaw as a Clearwire director on January 6.
Clearwire is considering funding options, including selling spectrum, or an equity investment from Sprint or T-Mobile USA, which would rent space on Clearwire’s network at lower rates.
Sprint uses Clearwire's network to operate its high-speed wireless service. T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom DTEGn.DE, has said it needs more airwaves.
Clearwire shares were up 10 cents, or 1.74 percent, at $5.86 in morning trading on Nasdaq.
Reporting by Sinead Carew. Editing by Robert MacMillan
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