Google Sells $47 Million Stake in Clearwire

Posted by at 11:41 am on February 24, 2012

Google in an SEC filing posted last week but discovered Friday that it had sold off its stake in 4G provider Clearwire. Two sales on February 7 and 16 were collectively worth $47 million on the assumption of selling 29.4 million shares at $1.60 each, or less than Clearwire’s $2.27 actual price as of the end of Thursday. No explanation was given for the exit.

The search firm invested a full $500 million in Clearwire in 2008 to help promote the high-speed Internet access it depends on. However, it has mostly grown cold and left Sprint to help bail Clearwire out until it returned to profit, mostly after wide-ranging budget cuts.

Clearwire is currently in the middle of a jump to LTE and is likely to see high costs as it upgrades its network over the course of the next year. Losing Google support won’t be fatal to its prospects but could hurt Clearwire’s balance sheet in the process.

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