Clearwire receives $80 million financing offer

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hedge fund Aurelius Capital Management said Tuesday that it offered $80 million in financing to Clearwire Corp., a move that could help free up the wireless network operator to consider options beyond a takeover offer from Sprint Nextel Corp.

Clearwire spokeswoman Susan Johnston said in an emailed statement that the company received the proposal from Aurelius and will evaluate it. A representative for Sprint declined to comment.

Last week Clearwire received a financing offer of $240 million from Crest Financial Ltd., its largest minority shareholder. Aurelius said it recognizes that its offer is "less than the $480 million" that's still available under a financing plan from Sprint. But it added that it believes Clearwire could obtain the $400 million difference through a combination of the Crest proposal and "an additional $160 million that we trust others would welcome providing" on the terms it proposes.

In December, Clearwire agreed to a deal with Sprint that offered $2.2 billion for the 49 percent of Clearwire that Sprint doesn't already own. Then Dish Network Corp. bid about $5.15 billion for Clearwire in January.

Shares of Clearwire closed down 1 cent at $3.26.