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Clearwire to take $80 million in financing from Sprint, hampering odds of Dish buyout

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Clearwire plans to take $80 million in financing from Sprint, the first time the company has pulled from an $800 million arrangement between the two. The announcement confirms a report from The Wall Street Journal yesterday, with the money coming in the form of notes that convert into stock, a tactic that could eventually increase Sprint's stake in Clearwire — even as the carrier attempts to buy the company's remaining shares outright. That plan has been delayed some thanks to Dish Network, which made a surprise bid to the tune of $5.15 billion last month, effectively doubling Sprint's $2.2 billion offer.

However, Dish has publicly stated that it would withdraw its bid should Clearwire dip into the Sprint financing agreement. The satellite provider hasn't hidden its ambitions to break into the mobile industry, so we wouldn't consider the deal dead until Dish declares it to be so. We've reached out to the company for comment. For its part, Clearwire insists that it "will pursue the course of action that it believes is in the best interests of Clearwire’s non-Sprint Class A stockholders." At the same time, the company is maintaining its recommendation that shareholders approve the proposed Sprint transaction.