updated 04:45 pm EST, Mon February 27, 2012
Private transaction means less disclosure
Sprint announced that it would issue corporate bonds worth approximately $2 billion in a private sale. The company hinted that the proceeds of the sale might be used to support "network expansion and modernization and potential funding of Clearwire Corporation," among other uses. Clearwire has been seeking additional investment as it transitions to 4G LTE. Sprint is already committed to paying $600 million this year and another $300 million in 2013 for Clearwire's WiMAX service.
The sale included two sets of notes, which will be due in 2017 and 2020. Since the sale was handled as a private transaction, most of the usual financial disclosures required by publicly-traded companies do not apply.
Both companies have seen their fortunes rebound recently. After after adding the iPhone to its handset lineup, Sprint gained 1.6 million net new subscribers. Total subscribers are at an all-time high. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse was also rumored to be close to a deal to acquire Metro PCS last week. After putting its financial house in order last summer, Clearwire doubled revenue last year. CEO Erik Prusch said the company is on track to roll out 5,000 LTE sites by 2013.
However, earlier this month Google, one of Clearwire's chief investors, dumped $47 million worth of Clearwire stock at below-market prices. No reason for the fire sale was announced.