AT & T said to covet EchoStar

Thu, 09/27/2007 - 8:45am
Brian Santo

It’s not a matter of if, but when, AT&T will buy EchoStar.

That’s the assessment of an analyst at Oppenheimer, according to several news outlets privy to the company’s recent report upgrading EchoStar.

Oppenheimer analyst Thomas W. Eagan is reported to be speculating AT&T will offer about $56 a share for EchoStar, which had been trading in the low $40s, and subsequent to the report is now in the mid $40s.

EchoStar has about 447 million shares outstanding, which would put the cost of the acquisition in the $25 billion range.

The acquisition would automatically make AT&T’s U-verse TV an overlapping service to EchoStar’s Dish Network. The value of the deal, then, may be in the varied bundles the combined entity would be able to cobble together from a set of wired, wireless and satellite delivery mechanisms. AT&T currently has a deal with EchoStar in which it sells DBS TV in bundles with its own broadband data and voice services.

EchoStar’s proposed purchase of Sling Media can only enrich its value with AT&T.


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