Sprint bid to buy Clearwire gains another supporter

Clearwire Corp., lobbying investors to support a takeover by Overland Park-Sprint Nextel Corp., said Egan-Jones Ratings Co. has joined Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. in recommending a yes vote on the transaction.

The endorsement lends fresh support to the deal following ISS’s stamp of approval last week. The two shareholder-advisory firms disagreed with Glass, Lewis & Co., which recommended that investors vote no on Sprint’s takeover plan. The deal will be put to a vote at a special meeting on May 21.

“These recommendations affirm the conclusion of a rigorous multiyear strategic review and reinforce the board’s unanimous belief that this combination is the best strategic alternative for Clearwire’s minority stockholders, delivering certain, fair and attractive value,” Bellevue, Wash.-based Clearwire said Monday.

Sprint, which already owns slightly more than 50 percent of Clearwire, is trying to acquire the remaining stake for $2.2 billion. The two companies reached the deal in December after a four-year joint venture struggled to build a nationwide wireless Internet provider. Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kansas, is now planning to use Clearwire’s spectrum to bolster its own network.

Glass Lewis said that Sprint hasn’t made a compelling case for why its offer is the best option