Dish Network increases bid for LightSquared assets

25 July 2013 | Kavit Majithia


US satellite provider Dish Network has increased its $2 billion cash offer to acquire the rest of LightSquared’s assets to $2.2 billion.

The move is the latest by Dish Network’s billionaire owner and chairman Charles Ergen to break into the US broadband market, following its failed bid to acquire Sprint earlier this year.

Ergen is attempting to reposition the company away from operating predominately as a satellite provider, with it now aiming to move towards a data and telecoms group.

Dish has also bid for spectrum rich Clearwire but was unable to secure both deals in the face of competition from Japanese group Softbank.

LightSquared, which was aiming to build a nationwide LTE 4G network was forced to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy after the FCC rejected a licence bid due to interference of its infrastructure to GPS equipment. The company is now undergoing a reorganisation process, and Dish’s improved offer comes as lenders and bankruptcy courts assess its operations.

The company was formerly owned and controlled by Harbinger Capital Partners, but was forced to seek bankruptcy protection last year with assets of $4.48 billion and a debt of $2.29 billion.

The FCC will have to approve any potential acquisition of LightSquared.