Plunging stock price means bigger investment for Clearwire backers

Thanks to Clearwire's plunging stock price, the company's major investors have seen their ownership in the operator increase.

Clearwire's stock has fallen more than 40 percent during the past three months, giving Google an additional 4.4 million shares and Time Warner another 4. 8 million. The company, which is 51 percent owned by Sprint Nextel, received $3.2 billion in capital from Intel, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and others and merged with Sprint's WiMAX assets at the end of 2008.

Google said in a regulatory filing that Clearwire's stock price has been beneath a floor price of $17--underneath the $20-per-share purchase price used when Google made its investment last fall, therefore allowing Google to increase its shares to more than 29 million. Additionally, Time Warner disclosed in a filing that it now has more than 32 million shares.

Google had a $355 million write-down because of its Clearwire investment in the fourth quarter. Intel took a $950 million non-cash charge in the fourth quarter because of its Clearwire investment while Comcast recorded a $600 million write-down. Time Warner saw a $350 million charge.

For more:
- see MarketWatch

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