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Dish Launches $1 Billion Bond Offering

2 Apr, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Satellite TV operator said it plans to use the funds for wireless and spectrum-related business ventures

Dish Network April 2 said it plans to offer $1 billion in senior secured notes (bonds) to institutional investors. The satellite TV operator said it would use the funds for general purposes, in addition to wireless and spectrum-related business ventures.

Englewood, Colo.-based Dish is looking to diversify beyond multichannel video program distribution due to increased competition from telecommunication operators and the burgeoning subscription video-on-demand market, among other issues. It has acquired significant amounts of wireless spectrum (about $3 billion) leading observers to speculate Dish is planning to roll out a mobile network.

Indeed, Dish chairman Charlie Ergen recently revealed the genesis behind the purchase of Blockbuster out of bankruptcy in 2011 was to use its stores to launch wireless products. Regulatory delays and other issues hindering rollout of proprietary wireless spectrum have heretofore delayed Dish launching products such as mobile phones.

“There’s a real asset [in Blockbuster stores] as long as we can tread water long enough to use them for wireless or other products,” Ergen said in February.

Dish in January submitted an unsolicited 3.30 per share bid for Clearwire, despite the latter agreeing to sell itself to majority owner Sprint Nextel for $2.97 per share. Negotiations between Dish and Clearwire are ongoing.


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