UPDATE 1-Clearwire shareholders vote for Sprint takeover
BELLEVUE, Wash., July 8 (Reuters) - Shareholders in Clearwire Corp voted on Monday to approve majority owner Sprint Nextel Corp's buyout of the rest of the company, finally ending a massive battle for control of the small U.S. wireless operator.
Clearwire said holders of 82 percent of Clearwire's minority shares voted in favor of Sprint's offer to buy the more than 49 percent of Clearwire it does not already own for $5 per share.
Sprint, which is itself being bought by Japan's SoftBank Corp, needed approval from a majority of the minority shares. It had to raise its offer price three times to placate shareholders and fight off rival bids from satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp.
Both companies were anxious to gain control of key wireless spectrum licenses that Clearwire holds in order to support high-speed data services.
Clearwire said that it expects to close the deal on July 9. Its shares traded just under the offer price at $4.995 on Nasdaq after the news.