Dish Network lands $1.38B bid for TerreStar, reportedly outflanking MetroPCS

Charlie Ergen's Dish Network won the "stalking horse" bid for bankrupt TerreStar Networks' assets with a $1.375 billion offer, according to bankruptcy court filings.

According to the court papers, Dish will allow TerreStar to extend the deadline for bids until June 27, with a court-supervised auction set for June 30. TerreStar said the Dish offer is a "significant achievement" because the deal is in cash and is more than TerreStar's secured debt.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reported that Ergen's bid beat another from a group of TerreStar's debt holders that included MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS). MetroPCS has been named in the past as a company that might be an eventual bidder for TerreStar because of TerreStar's spectrum holdings, which MetroPCS might be able to use for its LTE service. A MetroPCS spokesman declined to comment.

Indeed, Dish's $1.4 billion acquisition of similar assets from bankrupt DBSD North America, which was finalized in March, sparked speculation about Ergen's possible plans for some kind of wireless venture. Ergen, who will step down as CEO of Dish effective June 20 but remain its chairman, said earlier this year that he didn't have a "grand strategy" to pool spectrum resources into a wireless venture. 

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this NYT blog post

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