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Time Warner Cable sheds stake in Clearwire

Tue, 09/18/2012 - 3:35pm
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

Time Warner Cable plans to shed its entire 7.8 percent stake in Clearwire.

The cable company's exit from the WiMAX provider came shortly after it finished selling its AWS spectrum to Verizon Wireless.

The deal allowed Time Warner Cable to resell Verizon's cellular service, making its investment in Clearwire less attractive. Verizon's LTE network spans more than 370 markets, while Clearwire's WiMAX network is available in just 88 markets.

In a Friday regulatory filing, Time Warner Cable said it would begin selling off its 46.4 million shares of Clearwire stock as early as yesterday if none of the company’s other investors elected to purchase them. Neither Intel nor Middlefield bought any of the shares.

Time Warner Cable did not say whether Clearwire investors Sprint, Comcast, Eagle River Holdings or Bright House Networks took the opportunity to increase their stake.

At Clearwire's opening stock price today of $1.46, Time Warner Cable's stake is worth just $67.3 million. It paid $550 million for the shares when it purchased them in 2008.

Time Warner Cable is not the first Clearwire investor to jump ship. In March, Google sold its entire stake in Clearwire for just $47 million, less than a tenth of the $500 million it paid for stock in 2008.

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