Dish bids to buy Clearwire, topping Sprint’s offer

Clearwire Corp., the wireless-network operator that agreed to be bought out by Sprint Nextel Corp. last month for $2.97 a share, received an unsolicited offer from Dish Network Corp. for $3.30.

Dish has offered to acquire up to all of the outstanding shares of Clearwire, which is majority-owned by Overland Park-based Sprint, Clearwire said Tuesday in a statement. The company’s board will discuss the proposal with Dish, though it’s made no decision to reconsider the Sprint offer.

Clearwire advanced 0.7 percent to $2.92 at the close. The shares gained 49 percent last year. Dish’s offer is 13 percent above Clearwire’s closing price Tuesday and 11 percent above Sprint’s bid.

Sprint, which closed at $5.97, up 1 cent on the New York Stock Exchange, decided to acquire 100 percent of Clearwire in December, after their four-year joint venture struggled to build a nationwide wireless network, leading to billions in losses for Clearwire.

Sprint aims to take over Clearwire’s spectrum – the airwaves that let mobile devices operate – and use it to bolster its own network. Sprint Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse said last month that the deal was “critical” to turnaround efforts at the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier.