(Reuters) - Dish Network Corp is in talks to hire banks that will provide between $10 billion and $15 billion in debt to finance the cash portion of its bid for T-Mobile US Inc, three people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
The two companies have been in talks over a merger that would be the latest in a wave of tie-ups in the telecom and pay-TV industries. While there is no agreement yet, the move to seek financing shows that Dish believes it is making progress.
T-Mobile has a market capitalization of about $31 billion, only $3 billion less than Dish. A deal between the two companies would have a larger share component than a cash component, one of the people said.
The sources asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the discussions between Dish and the banks. Dish and T-Mobile declined to comment.
Dish in recent years has amassed spectrum, radio frequencies that carry the growing amounts of data flowing through devices, without building out infrastructure to offer its own wireless service. The company recently launched an online streaming video service, Sling TV, to offset the loss of pay-TV subscribers.
T-Mobile has recently turned around years of subscriber losses with cut-price deals, marketing and wireless plans, but customer gains have pressured the carrier’s margins. T-Mobile has also been reported as looking to buy spectrum from smaller rivals.
Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Liana B. Baker in New York; Editing by Alan Crosby