Wi-Max Pioneer Clearwire Files For an IPO (CLWR)

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Jon Ogg submits: One of the first pure-play Wi-Max companies with an existing coverage footprint in the US may soon be public. Craig McCaw's wireless broadband provider Clearwire has filed to debut in an IPO with a stock sale of $400M.

We haven't seen an indication on the number of shares but the underwriting group is fairly large. Merrill Lynch & Co., Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan would be the lead underwriters, with Bear Stearns and Wachovia also in the underwriting.

McCaw, who is chairman and co-chief executive, founded Clearwire in October 2003, and the company entered its first market in August 2004. As of March 31, Clearwire offered services in 27 markets in the US, as well as Brussels and Dublin in the EU. The company reported a 2005 net loss of $139.95 million on $33.45 million in Revenues.

Clearwire has applied to list its Class A common stock on the NASDAQ under the ticker "CLWR." It is obviously too soon to know what the exact share demand will be, but it is probably safe to note that if you CAN get a share allocation at the IPO pricing from the underwriters, it should be worth taking.

If you want an extensive behind the scenes article and backgrounder on Clearwire and McCaw there was a Bloomberg article in February, 2005 that revealed quite a bit.

One current hurdle Clearwire faces is its somewhat limited current coverage footprint in the US, but this will surely expand after the IPO proceeds have been raised (if not sooner). Clearwire is in less-covered areas than many of the major wireless carrier wireless broadband plans that have traditionally launched their services in major metro areas. Despite this coverage area, the company is sure to get much media coverage as the IPO nears and investors will more than likely take whatever allocations they can get their hands on at the IPO pricing. That of course can change at any time and based on market conditions, but as of now that looks like the case. Here's the company's coverage map in the US.