EchoStar Communications, the second largest direct-to-home satellite TV provider in the U.S., has bid $1.029 billion for the U.S. satellites of bankrupt Loral Space & Communications. Echostar’s offer exceeds one made earlier by Intelsat.
The offer came after Loral rejected EchoStar’s $1.85 billion bid for the entire company last week.
Last July, Loral agreed to sell its North American satellite fleet to Intelsat for about $1 billion but must put these assets up for auction as part of requirements of the bankruptcy court. Until the EchoStar bid, Intelsat had been the only company to make an offer for the fleet. Now, an auction is considered likely.
A federal bankruptcy court in New York has set Oct. 20 as the auction date. Loral filed for bankruptcy in July as a condition for its agreement with Intelsat.