EchoStar Initiates Evaluation of Strategic Options Following Merger with Dish Network

Satellite operator EchoStar has announced its decision to engage advisors in evaluating strategic alternatives in the wake of its recent merger with Dish Network.
EchoStar Hughes
The merger, officially concluded on December 31, was orchestrated by telecom magnate Charlie Ergen as a strategic move to address the escalating competition from larger U.S.

Dish Network undertook the transfer of certain wireless spectrum licenses to EchoStar Wireless Holding, a newly formed subsidiary. The spectrum licenses include AWS-4, H-Block, CBRS, C-Band – Cheyenne, 12GHz, LMDS, 24 GHz, 28 GHz, 37GHz, 30GHz, and 47GHz. Dish Network retained ownership of other valuable wireless spectrum licenses, such as 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 3.45 GHz, and AWS-3, with 700 MHz and AWS-3 remaining unencumbered, in addition to DISH DBS Corporation (“DBS”).

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) noted in its approval order that Charlie Ergen would beneficially own over 90 percent of the voting stock and approximately 54 percent of the equity in the recombined company.

The transaction between Dish Network and EchoStar aimed to integrate Dish Network’s satellite technology, streaming services, and nationwide 5G network with EchoStar’s leading satellite communication solutions.

EchoStar’s history traces back to Ergen’s founding of EchoStar Communications in 1980 as a satellite television equipment distributor. In 2008, EchoStar Communications changed its name to Dish Network and spun off its technology arm as a new entity named EchoStar Corp., effectively reuniting Ergen’s telecom empire.

Hamid Akhavan, President and CEO of EchoStar, commented on the asset allocation resulting from the Spectrum Transfer, stating that it positions EchoStar optimally to execute its strategic goal of becoming the premier provider of terrestrial mobile, satellite connectivity, and content services.

In light of these developments, EchoStar has enlisted the services of financial advisor Houlihan Lokey and legal advisor White & Case LLP to assist in the evaluation of strategic options. The satellite operator, however, has not yet provided details about its specific plans.