| NEW YORK
NEW YORK May 15 Dish Network Corp has
lined up four banks to finance its $25.5 billion bid for Sprint
Nextel Corp, escalating the bidding war against Japanese
telecom company SoftBank Corp, according to two people
familiar with the matter.
Dish, run by billionaire founder Charlie Ergen, is working
with Barclays Plc, Macquarie Group, Jefferies
and the Royal Bank of Canada to help finance around $9
billion in debt needed for the offer, the people said on
The U.S. satellite company is still finalizing details and
has yet to commit to the financing package being put together by
the banks, one of the people said.
On Tuesday, Dish said it was raising $2.5 billion in a bond
deal to help fund the proposed offer. The remaining $6.5 billion
in financing would be in the form of bank loans and syndicated
through the participating banks, the people said.
The people asked not to be named because the matter is not
public. Barclays and Macquarie declined to comment. Jefferies
and RBC could not be reached for comment.
The progress in Dish's financing efforts comes even after
SoftBank fought hard to keep major Wall Street banks from
financing a Dish offer.
Reuters first reported on May 10 that SoftBank told banks
that their financing of Dish's $25.5 billion rival offer for
Sprint could hurt their chances of landing a role in the highly
anticipated public offering of Chinese e-commerce company
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. SoftBank owns 33 percent
SoftBank has an existing agreement with Sprint to buy 70
percent of the U.S. wireless carrier for $20.1 billion, and had
previously criticized Dish's offer for not having committed
financing in place.
Ergen said last week Sprint's special committee had not yet
allowed Dish to view its data room to gain a closer look at the
company. This was partially because Dish did not have committed
financing, people familiar with the matter have said.