updated 01:25 pm EDT, Tue June 28, 2011
Dish now near certain buyer for TerreStar
Dish Network's hopes to buy out TerreStar may have come true as reports have surfaced Tuesday that it's now the only bidder for the satellite smartphone creator. A deadline Monday night has passed with only a nearly $1.38 billion bid from Dish still around, giving it a near-certain win. Cellular carrier MetroPCS had considered a bid to get much-needed wireless spectrum, Reuters says, but has since backed out for unknown reasons.
The lack of responses may lead TerreStar to drop an auction due Thursday. A final hearing in a bankruptcy court is due on July 7 that will likely see Dish's bid cleared.
Dish has had the most incentive of all prospective customers to buy TerreStar, which went bankrupt in October after it got few takers for its satellite phone service and devices like the Genus. Dish is part of a larger satellite powerhouse run by tycoon Charles Ergen that includes EchoStar and Hughes as well as a stake in Sirius XM. In buying TerreStar, Ergen could get at least extra satellite strength for TV and Internet access but could also try reviving satellite phone access.
None of the involved companies have commented but will have to go public within the next several days.