A 5 p.m. deadline came and went with Dish’s $1.375 billion minimum or “stalking horse” bid, submitted June 15, remaining the only offer on the table, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the sale process is private.
Potential challengers to Dish had included TerreStar’s senior bondholders and MetroPCS. If no bids are received, TerreStar would likely cancel its auction initially planned for Thursday, the sources said. A sale hearing is scheduled for July 7.
Billionaire Charles Ergen controls satellite television service Dish Networks, providing direct broadcast satellite service to 14.337 million customers in the United States. In March Ergen’s EchoStar, which owns the satellite fleet for Dish Network, won the right to acquire bankrupt DBSD (formerly ICO) for about $1.4 billion. This June he also completed a $1.33 billion purchase of Hughes Communications, a broadband internet satellite system. Ergen also recently closed a $320 million deal for Blockbuster.
That would pull off a spectacular triple play, right under the noses of cable and telecom giants, delivering satellite television, broadband internet access, and mobile phone service.
Space Systems/Loral, manufacturer of the TerreStar satellite, filed court papers Tuesday saying the plan would pay it only a fraction of what is owed. The plan would require TerreStar to pay about $5.6 million as a so-called cure amount, far less than the roughly $43 million Space Systems says it is owed, according to the filing. AT&T also objected to the plan, saying the plan could prevent it from seeking indemnity from Dish in certain cases where consumers claim damages against AT&T for problems related to the TerreStar phone.
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