Dish to sell $2.5B in debt to fund Sprint bid

If the deal falls through or doesn't happen by a certain date, Dish plans to redeem the notes.

Sprint is a hot commodity right now. Marguerite Reardon/CNET
Dish Network plans to sell about $2.5 billion in debt to help fund its proposed takeover of Sprint Nextel, the company said Tuesday.

The proceeds from the offering will be placed in escrow and will then be released to finance part of the funds needed for the $25.5 billion Sprint acquisition. If the proposed merger falls through or doesn't take place before a certain date, Dish plans to redeem the notes.

Dish and Japanese carrier SoftBank have been battling for Sprint for the past couple months. SoftBank in October offered to pay shareholders $12.1 billion and give the carrier $8 billion in cash for network upgrades and other improvements in exchange for a 70 percent stake in the company. Dish threw a wrench in SoftBank's plans last month by offering $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock.

Since that time, the two companies have been vying to show why their own bids are superior. SoftBank has argued that its experience with TD-LTE would dramatically improve Sprint's LTE efforts and give it a superior offering in the U.S. market. Dish has said its higher price and U.S. headquarters make its bid more attractive. The company has argued that a SoftBank acquisition of Sprint wouldn't be good for U.S. national security.

 

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