07.20.09

DISH buys into ICO North America

Posted in Financials, ICO/DBSD, Operators, Spectrum, TerreStar at 3:20 pm by timfarrar

On July 9, DISH Network filed a letter in the ICO North America (DBSD) bankruptcy case, indicating that it had purchased all of the $43.7M of first lien secured debt from the pre-petition lenders.

The first lien lenders had been objecting to ICO’s proposed restructuring which their financial advisers (Chanin Capital Partners) characterized as “a ‘plan’ that is doomed to fail, due to lack of financing, overwhelming debt and inability to move the company from the developmental (non-revenue producing) stage into an operating, revenue producing one”, while DISH Network stated in its letter that it “adopts those objections in their entirety and is prepared to prosecute the objections…”

According to Chanin, ICO/DBSD’s plan “seeks to put the Debtors in a holding pattern in the hope that the capital markets will become more accessible in the future. During this time the Debtors have no intention of furthering their business”.

However, with Echostar already holding a significant stake in TerreStar, ICO’s 2GHz rival, which just launched its own satellite earlier this month, could this development provide renewed impetus to the long rumored merger of the two companies and provide an alternative way forward for the development of MSS and ATC services in the 2GHz band?

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