Seeking Alpha

"It's hard for me to imagine that what Dish wants is Clearwire ... It could be a chess move to...

"It's hard for me to imagine that what Dish wants is Clearwire ... It could be a chess move to get a partnership with Sprint," opines Bernstein's Craig Moffett. Jefferies and Macquarie also think Dish's (DISH +2.1%) $3.30/share offer for Clearwire (CLWR +7.7%) is an attempt to cut a deal with Sprint (S -1.4%), long named as a potential 4G partner but currently in the midst of selling itself to SoftBank (SFTBF.PK). Macquarie adds a $3.50-$3.75/share Sprint bid might be needed to get Dish and dissident shareholders to back down. PCS +1.8%. LEAP +0.9%.
Comments (7)
  • ashtarir
    , contributor
    Comments (87) | Send Message
     
    I've been pushing this exact notion since Dish started to buy CLWR debt months back. A deal with Dish and Sprint will provide much of what is needed to compete with ATT and V. This move by Dish now puts the FCC in a position where they can justify not approving the $2.97 offer for CLWR based on the complaints filed by shareholders. Therefore Sprint now has to strike a deal with dish or start the bidding process. What could make things even more mess or profitable for CLWR shareholders is if a third party jumps in. It goes without saying that sprint will have no game in the future without some or all of CLWRs spectrum. Dish obviously want to get into the wireless market since they have already received FCC approval to use some of their satilite spectrum for data. In my opinion they need Sprints infrastructure to be able to use this spectrum cost effectively. The move by Dish basically forces sprint to pay more for CLWR if they want to move forward on their own.
    9 Jan 2013, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • AggGrow
    , contributor
    Comments (194) | Send Message
     
    I disagree.

     

    1) What does Dish have that Sprint could be remotely interested in? Cash and Debt are all they have, and Sprint's got that. Satellite customers? Please! Management? Double Please!

     

    2) I understand the Dish offer is to take the prime spectrum for $3.30 and leave the rest with CLWR. That's like me offering $100 over your asking for your used car, but I only want the motor - you have to deal with junking the rest. Who'd do that?

     

    3) Dish is a toxic culture. Do you think for a minute that CLWR would get involved on that ball of yarn? Do you think that Hesse would want to inherit Charlie? Like he doesn't have enough problems.

     

    4) Charlie is just rattling Sprints cage because he can. He has no straightforward reason to make such a bid except to create eddies in the current.

     

    No! Sprint needs nothing that Dish has to offer and Clearwire should neither be interested, except insofar as it gets Sprint to raise their bid to something a bit more fair.

     

    I understand Dish wants Spectrum so that it can offer it's customers Internet Service, but there is simply no good deal for Sprint here.
    9 Jan 2013, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • ashtarir
    , contributor
    Comments (87) | Send Message
     
    I'm not suggesting that Sprint buy Dish. I'm simply suggesting that
    1. Dish has their own spectrum and they are looking to build a network with outside help. Given that the FCC had originally approved this spectrum for sat use I'm sure that it supports relatively high bandwidth and would be a positive for Sprint.
    2. Dish has television services which could allow sprint the ability to provide package deals to its customers. This would be a profitable joint partnership for both companies and it would allow them compete better with ATT, V, and cable providers. In fact sprint may even be able to stream DISH TV services to potential DISH subscribers who do not get satilite services.
    3. Sprint, with CLWR spectrum, will have the capability to offer data speeds equal to high speed home internet. Dish could provide package deals to its customers along with phone deals using sprints network. This would be a profitable joint partnership for both companies.

     

    You fail to realize how profitable and competitive CLWR spectrum can be for both these companies. They can use their spectrum to support bandwidths for telephone and data that others cant and at a huge cost savings. Think about how much it cost cable companies, ATT, and V to run fiber, lauch/upgrade Satilites in space ,and maintain their networks. The overhead maintenence and installation cost for sprint/dish services will be significantly less using high speed wireless (advance LTE). Of course all this will require excellent leadership and I'm confident its there at S and softbank. Both companies are looking to expand their services and increase their customers. What better way to start doing this then share what you already have.
    10 Jan 2013, 11:05 AM Reply Like
  • rjp2020
    , contributor
    Comments (13) | Send Message
     
    I understand the structure of the relationship between Sprint and Clearwire is complicated in terms of ownership. That being said, since Sprint is already the owner of over 50% of Clearwire could it not block any other agreement if it chose? Would the FCC, in a case such as this, actually block a consolidation with a majority shareholder since the combination of Sprint and Clearwire appears to be healthy for telecom competition and Dish at this point is a non player in the sector with the exception of some recent spectrum purchases. Additionally what might the FCC see in terms of the Sat TV market and competition with Direct should Dish actually succeed. I believe that Clearwire will end up 100% in Sprint's control. I also believe there is a decent chance that Sprint could agree to sell some spectrum to Dish in order to move Dish out of the way.
    9 Jan 2013, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • Headcoach
    , contributor
    Comments (431) | Send Message
     
    Here, here....I agree. But why does one go out and buy debt? Ever since you came out with this..."they bought debt", I have been pay a &%$# of attention on this very thing of their buy debt.

     

    So much that I found FCC dockets that state Dish's intention and the restrictions that the FCC has placed on Dish to do a build out in a specific time.

     

    This is the reason for the relationship with Clearwire. But buying the debt....hum. Why would someone want to buy debt?

     

    Back in the 90's there was a thing that caught everyones attention called..."Factoring"! http://bit.ly/WtC56J)

     

    But the true big picture of the interest is that if Dish wants to succeed they need to change their business model. This is why they are going after wireless.

     

    But in order to go into wireless, they will need a network that will have the download speed to compete with Hulu....in comes Clearwire with their Advanced LTE network with download speeds tested in China at 100+ mbps, not 28 mbps like Verizon and AT&T.

     

    These are the speed that Dish will need to compete. But, the only way that will allow them the time to fulfill this FCC time requirement is to marry with a company that already has this network and this is Clearwire.

     

    Intel came out with a report last week that said they want to get into the broadband market by offering a TV network that will allow the user to pick and choose their cable shows, rather than buying it in a bundle like Dish, Direct, and other cable companies. But reports came out on monday that it was just BS: http://bit.ly/11ggQwB

     

    But the pressure is still there for Dish!

     

    Next question....why would the CEO of Dish go to Japan 2 weeks before Christmas? To go buy electronic for his kid? Reports were that he was going to meet with Softbank....so they say.

     

    Could it be that this offer that Dish made to Clearwire is Softbanks was of "saving face" and coming back to Sprint to say....okay, offer a little more?

     

    Initially Softbank told Sprint only to offer "This Much and No More." But Softbank didn't think investors would bach at this type of deal seeing how the company is on it's way to bankruptcy (so says every anal-cyst on the earth)

     

    So now what does Softbank do to save face? Japan uses the "Keiretsu" to do business (def: http://bit.ly/WtC56P)

     

    So you have to keep in mind of how Japan companies make deals in business....save face! Send in other people (company) to make the deal work.
    9 Jan 2013, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • AggGrow
    , contributor
    Comments (194) | Send Message
     
    I don't know.?.? I makes sense on one level, but when you factor in Dish, I don't think so. But an interesting thought, to be sure.
    9 Jan 2013, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • ashtarir
    , contributor
    Comments (87) | Send Message
     
    Because if CLWR goes broke the assets will used to pay debt holders. I'm sure Dish will take spectrum in place of cash. Lets face it the Dish/S deal is already in play behind closed doors. Sprint owns control of assets and dish owns debt why else would the $2.97 offer from S be on the table.
    10 Jan 2013, 11:11 AM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Tools
Find the right ETFs for your portfolio:
Seeking Alpha's new ETF Hub
ETF Investment Guide:
Table of Contents | One Page Summary
Read about different ETF Asset Classes:
ETF Selector