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March 5, 2007

Clearwire's impending IPO

Posted by Tricia Duryee at 5:09 PM

There's a ton of speculation about Clearwire's IPO, which should be right around the corner -- maybe tomorrow or Wednesday.

Business Week speculated today that the Kirkland wireless broadband company's IPO "could be one of the most talked about -- and sought-after -- tech initial public offerings of the year." And the company, which is offering up to 23 million shares at $23 to $25 each could actually go for more.

Business Week quoted Scott Sweet, a managing partner at consultancy IPOBoutique.com, who said the shares are likely to debut at $25 to $27, fetching Clearwire as much as $621 million, compared with the $513 million the company initially expected.

TheStreet.com reported today that the IPO market is "about to heat up with the launch of the Clearwire initial public offering," calling it "the current pet project of one of the biggest names in American entrepreneurialism: Craig McCaw."

The most interesting tidbit came from Business Week, which questioned what would be next for the money-hungry company that would need millions upon billions in its life to roll out a national and potentially international WiMax network.

The story said Clearwire could become an attractive acquisition target for Sprint, which has already dedicated billions to rolling out its own WiMax network.

Business Week said Sprint "could benefit from the addition of Clearwire's spectrum and its expertise in fixed WiMax. Sprint already plans to work with Clearwire to ensure the companies' respective networks don't interfere with one another. And because they own spectrum in different markets, Sprint doesn't expect to see much services overlap, says Don Stroberg, vice-president for mobile broadband strategy at Sprint."

Stroberg declined to comment on the acquisition rumors.

But wait, one step at a time, folks!

Clearwire may be receiving a lot of hype and attention, but it still is only one of a few tech IPOs testing the waters this year. It's also following the biggest market decline since 9/11.

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Tricia Duryee
Tricia Duryee
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