Technology

AT&T likely to bid for EchoStar: Barron's

MUMBAI: AT&T is likely to put together a bid for EchoStar Communications, says Barron‘s financial newspaper.









Shares of the second-largest U.S. satellite television operator fell 24 per cent in one month, which may make reaching an agreement on a share purchase price easier.


In the past, AT&T has supposedly offered $65 a share and EchoStar has demanded $75 a share, Barron‘s reports.
At Friday close, EchoStar‘s stock was at $39.83 on the Nasdaq.


Citing a person familiar with the company, Barron‘s says AT&T would like to get a deal done quickly because it wants an agreement in place before the next presidential election, when any victory for the Democrats, antitrust experts believe, would probably mean increased scrutiny of mergers and acquisitions.


Also pushing the deal timeline, AT&T has said it will decide before the end of the year on the satellite provider it will use to offer video services to its phone customers.

 

The report follows months of speculation that AT&T may buy EchoStar to expand its video business and compete with cable providers.


On Friday, Citigroup upgraded EchoStar from a "hold" to a "buy" rating, citing an attractive valuation and its belief that there is a 65 per cent chance that AT&T acquires the satellite company over the next 12 months.

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