Dish Network and satellite communications provider EchoStar revealed plans to merge, a deal the pair claim would create a global leader in both terrestrial and non-terrestrial wireless connectivity.
In a joint statement, the companies explained the all-stock transaction would yield significant cost savings and revenue synergies, in addition to creating a business able to provide a broad set of communication and content distribution services.
After completion, Dish Network shareholders will own around 69 per cent of the new entity’s common stock with the remainder allocated to EchoStar shareholders.
Current Dish Network president and CEO Erik Carlson will depart the business following the merger, with the combined entity set to be headed by current EchoStar chief Hamid Akhavan.
The tie-up is somewhat of a reunion, with Dish Network originally the same company as EchoStar and both still sharing a chair and controlling shareholder in Charles Ergen. The separation of the two was finalised in 2008.
Dish Network is launching a new open RAN-based mobile network in the US through its wireless unit, having acquired assets and a licence in the wake of T-Mobile US and Sprint joining forces in 2020.
The company also provides TV services in its home market, a business it was in long before it entered the mobile arena.
EchoStar sells a range of satellite communications services including to corporate clients and government agencies.
Ergen noted the deal is “a strategically and financially compelling combination,” adding Dish Network’s “substantial past investments in spectrum and its wireless buildout, combined with EchoStar’s recent launch of Jupiter 3, are expected to significantly reduce near-term capex requirements”.
Carson added “the combined company will have greater resources and the financial flexibility to deliver connectivity to consumers, enterprises and governments around the world”.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by the end of the year.