Sprint Nextel Corp. has reclaimed 77.4 million class B voting shares of Clearwire Corp. that it surrendered a year ago to avoid possible liability for Clearwire’s debts.
The deal sends $7.74 million to Clearwire, pricing the shares at their par value. A regulatory filing by Clearwire said the Class B shares were reissued to Sprint in a private stock offering.
Sprint had given up the shares to reduce its voting stake in Clearwire to less than 50 percent, independent of its economic ownership interest. Clearwire operates the WiMax network that carries Sprint’s faster 4G service.
The move last year had calmed some concerns among investors that Clearwire might have been considered a Sprint subsidiary, making Sprint liable should Clearwire fail to meet its debts.
The majority voting position is no longer a problem, as Clearwire has issued additional shares, reducing Sprint’s economic interest in the company to less than 50 percent.
A Sprint spokesman said reclaiming the B shares realigned Sprint’s voting stake in Clearwire with its economic ownership interest in Clearwire.