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Sprint boosts offer to buy out Clearwire

Wed., May 22, 2013

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Wireless company Sprint Nextel Corp. has raised its buyout offer for the stake in Clearwire it does not already own by 14 percent.

Sprint said Tuesday that it is offering $3.40 per share for Clearwire Corp. Its previous offer, from December, was for $2.97 per share for the wireless data operator.

Sprint said this is its best and final offer. A vote on the previous offer had been scheduled for Tuesday, but Clearwire said it is postponing it until May 30.

Clearwire’s main asset is its wireless spectrum – space on the airwaves – that could be used to provide high data download speeds. Those are a crucial competitive factor in today’s wireless industry. But Clearwire’s frequencies are difficult to use. They require many cell towers to cover an area, and the signals don’t penetrate well into buildings.

Sprint is Clearwire’s only major wholesale customer and uses its network to provide “Sprint 4G” service.

Sprint now able to talk with Dish about selling

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Sprint Nextel Corp. says it can now let Dish Network Corp. see its books and talk with Dish to see whether its competing offer to buy Sprint is better than its current deal with Japan’s SoftBank.

Sprint said late Monday that SoftBank had waived provisions of its deal with Sprint that will allow Sprint to talk with Dish.

SoftBank currently has a $20.1 billion deal with Sprint to buy 70 percent of the company. Dish last month offered $25.5 billion for the whole company.

Softbank says it brings expertise and cash to Sprint. It says it still wants to close its deal by July 1.

Wall Street analysts view Dish’s bid as better but risky, as the combined company would have high debt.

Volkswagen offering to replace fuel caps

DETROIT – Volkswagen is replacing the fuel tank covers on more than 200,000 of its diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. and Canada from 2009-12 to remind owners to fill their tanks with diesel, not gasoline.

The company said Tuesday it’s taking action after getting a small number of reports of drivers filling diesel tanks with gas. Using the wrong fuel can damage the engine.

Volkswagen will alert affected customers. Dealers will put on a free new fuel cap with yellow “Diesel” lettering.

L.L. Bean position staying in the family

FREEPORT, Maine – L.L. Bean’s grandson Leon Gorman is retiring as company chairman after more than 50 years as chairman or CEO, but the private company is keeping the position in the family.

The Maine-based retailer informed employees Monday that L.L.’s great-grandson, Shawn Gorman, will be the new chairman, committing to family ownership.

Chris McCormick, the first CEO from outside the family, retains his position.

U.N. agency promotes ‘six-legged livestock’

BANGKOK – Researchers say Thailand is showing the world how to respond to the global food crisis: by raising bugs for eating.

The United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization released a study and handbook Tuesday on what they call “six-legged livestock” – edible bugs and worms that can help meet global food demand that is expected to grow 60 percent by 2050. The agency says they provide a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals.

The study was conducted in Thailand, where insects including crickets, grasshoppers and bamboo worms have long been a part of diets, especially in rural areas.


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