Dish raises $2.3 billion in debt for spectrum purchases
(Reuters) - Dish Network, controlled by billionaire chairman Charlie Ergen, has priced a debt offering of $2.3 billion, more than double the amount of debt than it said it would offer a day ago.
The company, which made a $2.3 billion bid to buy a minority stake in wireless service provider Clearwire Corp in January, said the proceeds of the debt offering could be used for "wireless and spectrum-related strategic transactions."
The offering is expected to close April 5, Dish said in a statement. A spokesman for Dish was not immediately available for further comment on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Dish had said it planned to raise $1 billion in senior notes. The larger offering announced on Wednesday signals that demand was strong for Dish's debt.
Dish has been competing with Sprint for a minority stake in Clearwire. Sprint, already the majority owner of Clearwire, struck a deal in December to buy out the rest of the wireless company. But many Clearwire shareholders said they were unhappy with the Sprint offer, which would need approval from the majority of Clearwire's minority investors.
Clearwire has said that it would continue talks with Dish but that it has not changed its recommendation in favor of its agreement with No. 3 U.S. mobile provider Sprint.
Dish's Ergen has bought billions of dollars worth of spectrum in the past few years as the satellite pioneer aims to diversify his company's pay TV business, which competes in a mature market against cable, telecom and Internet video providers. Dish has more than 14 million satellite TV subscribers, making it one of the largest U.S. pay TV operators.
(Reporting By Liana B. Baker; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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