Dish Network could become a wholesale wireless capacity provider, perhaps in partnership with Sprint, and its spectrum could well be worth more in that scenario than it would be if Dish sold the airwaves, according to a new report from financial analysts. Such an arrangement could eventually net Dish around $10 billion in revenue per year, according to the analysts.
The market continues to undervalue Dish Network's spectrum holdings, and Dish will continue to be part of M&A discussions through 2015, according to a report from by Jefferies analysts. The massive bids in the ongoing AWS-3 spectrum auction are contributing to the situation, they added.
Dish Network is optimistic that the trials it is conducting with Sprint (NYSE: S) and nTelos Wireless to supply fixed broadband via 2.5 GHz TD-LTE service can turn into an actual business, according to Dish executives.
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen would gain control of 60 percent of LightSquared under a new plan to bring the firm out of bankruptcy. However, as has been in the case in the long-running bankruptcy saga of LightSquared, more drama is expected since Harbinger Capital Partners, the hedge fund that is LightSquared's controlling shareholder, objects to the new restructuring.
Bankrupt wireless firm LightSquared burned through $81.4 million in August, and the company has now lost $1.6 billion since it filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2012. The losses are piling up as Philip Falcone and his Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund struggle to maintain control of the firm as it seeks to exit bankruptcy.
The fight for control of bankrupt wireless firm LightSquared continues to drag on, with Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund submitting a new reorganization plan days after it seemed Falcone would be cut out of the company in a competing restructuring plan.
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen said he remains open to a partnership with T-Mobile US or another wireless carrier. He also said that Sprint's reported decision to abandon merger talks with T-Mobile increases Dish's options for entering the wireless market.
In a reversal, bankrupt LightSquared settled a disagreement with Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen over his debt claims in the company, setting the stage for LightSquared to emerge from bankruptcy with Ergen as one of its largest creditors. That could put even more pressure on Philip Falcone, the billionaire hedge fund manager who had been backing LightSquared.
LightSquared, the bankrupt wireless firm that had been controlled by hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners, tentatively agreed to a new $3.05 billion restructuring plan that would give 74 percent ownership to JPMorgan Chase, Fortress Investment Group and Cerberus Capital Management.
Verizon Wireless is not talking to Dish Network about any kind of deal, according to Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam.