Dish Up in Aftermath of AT&T/T-Mobile Deal Death

Published December 20, 2011

| Reuters

Shares in Dish Network Corp rose more than 9 percent in early trading on Tuesday as investors bet that the satellite TV company, which owns wireless spectrum, will benefit from the aftermath of AT&T Inc's failed acquisition of Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA.

"DISH is in the driver's seat," said Christopher Marangi, a portfolio manager at Gabelli & Co, which holds DISH shares.

Dish own a sizable amount of wireless spectrum in the coveted 700 MHz band as well as 2 GHz MSS spectrum which AT&T could be interested in buying at a premium, said several analysts, who value the spectrum anywhere between $5 billion and $9 billion. Dish paid around $3 billion for the spectrum over the last two years.

There was also the possibility that the whole of Dish could even be a target for AT&T, according to analysts at Stifel Nicolaus.

"(Dish Chairman) Charlie Ergen realizes he is unlikely to ever get a better offer than from a moderately desperate AT&T that needs spectrum and needs it quickly, and with the satellite TV industry's long-term business model being more uncertain than ever, we believe it more likely that AT&T will be forced to buy the entire company," said Stifel Nicolaus analyst Christopher King in a client note.

In an interview with Reuters last week, Dish Chief Executive Joe Clayton raised the possibility that Dish could partner with T-Mobile USA in the event of the AT&T deal collapsing.

Shares in Dish rose by $2.31 to $27.45 on the Nasdaq in morning trade.

(Reporting By Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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