Clearwire Nixes IPO, Raises $900 Million

Looks like Clearwire’s IPO plans weren’t going too well. The company, which was started by telecom master Craig McCaw, withdrew its IPO plans on Wednesday and simultaneously said it had raised $900 million in a private equity round from Intel Capital and Motorola Ventures. Given Vonage’s poor public performance, the move was probably a smart one.

A good deal of that financing–$600 million–will come from Intel Capital, which calls the Clearwire financing the largest in its history. Part of the deal also includes a sale of Clearwire’s NextNet Wireless division to Motorola for an undisclosed sum, and from here on out Motorola will provide the network equipment for Clearwire.

Previously Clearwire had raised nearly $360 million from backers that include McCaw, Intel Corp., and Bell Canada, and now even without the company’s planned $400 million IPO, Clearwire will have over $1 billion to burn on its network. The company needs the funds, given WiMAX networks are very expensive to build, and the company lost $140 million last year. The new injection of capital by the big partners is a major bet on WiMAX and means the network will likely be rolled out faster and more widespread.