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EchoStar Bids For DirecTV-Ordered Satellites

By | October 10, 2003

      The unpredictability of EchoStar Communications [Nasdaq: DISH] was exhibited late Thursday when the company asked a U.S. bankruptcy court judge to allow it to buy three satellites that archrival DirecTV has ordered from bankrupt Loral Space and Communications [OTC BB: LRLSQ].

      Littleton, Colo.-based EchoStar offered to buy the DirecTV 7S satellite under construction on the Space Systems/Loral factory floor for $100 million cash, while also agreeing to take over DirecTV’s order for two additional satellites, DirecTV 8 and DirecTV 9S, according to court documents. In a case before the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, EchoStar argued that its offer was a better deal for Loral creditors than the DirecTV contract and the court should act in the creditors’ interest. Judge Robert Drain will consider EchoStar’s request this afternoon.

      Further objection to Loral’s contract with DirecTV and amendments to its previous contract for the DirecTV 7S came late Thursday in a filing by Loral’s Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors. The committee is concerned about a provision that would allow DirecTV to cancel the contract if Space Systems/Loral is purchased by another company. “Such an unrestrained power would put inappropriate restrictions on SS/L’s ability to consider numerous transactions in its efforts to reorganize,” the committee argued.

      For more on the EchoStar/Loral saga, see the Oct. 13 issue of SATELLITE NEWS. For info on subscribing to PBI Media’s newsletters, check out our Web site at

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