Comcast, Intel to sell Clearwire shares to Sprint if buyout fails

Comcast Corp. and Intel Corp., investors in wireless broadband venture Clearwire Corp., agreed to sell their stakes to Sprint Nextel Corp. for $2.97 a share even if investors reject Sprint’s offer.

Clearwire said Monday that its board agreed to an increased offer of $2.2 billion from Overland Park-based Sprint, which is seeking full ownership of the company. Comcast and Intel, along with Bright House Networks LLC, own about 13 percent of Clearwire’s voting shares, the companies said.

The deal with the investors is conditional on the completion of Softbank Corp.’s $20.1 billion bid for Sprint, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday. Even if that deal collapsed, the companies would sell their stakes if Sprint completes an alternative transaction, the filing shows.

Cable-television operator Comcast and Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor maker, bought into Clearwire in 2008 alongside Sprint. The phone company is garnering support from them even as minority shareholders such as Mount Kellett Capital Management LP and Crest Financial Ltd. are challenging the deal.