Liberty Media Corp. and EchoStar Communications Corp. are preparing a joint offer
for Intelsat, the world''s largest commercial satellite operator, The Wall Street
Journal''s online edition reported. Intelsat, which has approximately $11.5
billion in debt, is expected to draw bids ranging from $4.5 billion to over $5.5
billion, the report said.
holding company Liberty is also slated to take control of competing satellite-broadcaster
DirecTV Group Inc. But the two could decide against a formal bid, it added.
current private-equity owners believe that the joint bid won''t face antitrust
hurdles because Intelsat is in a different business than EchoStar and DirecTV,
and that cable operators would retain existing long-term contracts for satellite
capacity, or could switch to fiber lines as an alternative, the report quoted
people familiar with the process as saying.
pairing of Liberty Media and Echostar represents a bold cooperation between satellite-TV
broadcaster and media holding company, the journal said.
went private in August 2004 with its acquisition by four private equity firms
Apax Partners, Permira, Apollo Management and Madison Dearborn Partners
in a $3.1 billion deal. Later, Intelsat expanded by acquiring another major
satellite operator, PanAmSat.
Media Corporation owns interests in a broad range of electronic retailing, media,
communications and entertainment businesses, including the Liberty Interactive
group, which includes Liberty''s interests in QVC, Provide Commerce, IAC/InterActiveCorp,
and Expedia, and the Liberty Capital group, which includes Liberty''s interests
in Starz Entertainment, News Corporation, and Time Warner.
has been a leader for more than 26 years in satellite TV equipment sales and support
worldwide. The company ''s DISH Network is the fastest-growing pay-TV provider
in the country since 2000 and currently serves more than 13.4 million satellite
Network offers a premier line of industry-leading digital video recorders (DVRs)
and hundreds of video and audio channels as well as the most national HD and international
channels in the US, Interactive TV, Latino and sports programming.
DISH Network also provides a variety of package and price options including the
lowest all-digital price in America and the DishDVR Advantage Package. EchoStar
is included in the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) and is a Fortune 300 company.