Following a lengthy legal battle to make the deal possible, Dish Network is poised to acquire bankrupt satellite operator DBSD North America for close to $1 billion, just as the outfit attempts to emerge from its dismal economic predicament.
Also helping DBSD to that end is a loan from Dish Network in the amount of $87.5 million.
According to the New York Times, the deal is not yet finalized, as the transaction must still meet approval by the Federal Communications Commission as well as the courts involved in the matter. Still, the deal is expected to close and serve as a “major win for the founder of Dish Network and EchoStar Communications, Charles Ergen, who has made a big push to expand his digital network.”
DBSD – a unit of ICO Global Communications Holdings Ltd.- is developing a system that supposedly combines satellite and terrestrial communications capabilities for wireless voice, data and Internet services.
“Dish also has some spectrum, and if you put DBSD and Dish together you could create a 4G or LTE network — it’s a situation where one plus one equals three,” said Todd Mitchell, a Kaufman Brothers analyst, who believes DBSD is worth somewhere between $2 and $3 billion.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that a hearing on the agreement in front of Judge Robert E. Gerber of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court has been set for February 15th in New York.