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Clearwire investors selling off shares

Tue, 03/01/2011 - 7:35am
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

Clearwire is allowing two large investors to sell off $536.6 million of their shares in the company, according to documents filed with the SEC yesterday.

Clearwire registered to let Chesapeake Partners and Highbridge International sell off up to 108.8 million shares at $4.93 a piece.

The companies did not provide information about why they planned to decrease their stake in Clearwire.

Clearwire's funding woes have forced it to indefinitely delay its smartphone plans and stall the expansion of its WiMAX network into major cities. The company's network will cover 130 million people by the end of the year, but it's rapidly losing ground to Verizon Wireless' LTE network, which launched in December and now covers 39 markets.

Despite its ongoing difficulties in securing capital, Clearwire's subscriber growth has been strong. The company added 1.5 million new customers in the fourth quarter, driven primarily by wholesale subscribers, and now has 4.4 million customers.

Clearwire expects to double its subscriber base to 8.8 million by the end of the year.

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