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Dish Wins Bid For TerreStar For $1.375 Billion

Dish Network, keeping up its 2011 acquisition spree, has submitted a winning bid of $1.375 billion for bankrupt satellite telecommunications provider TerreStar Networks.

A hearing to approve the sale to is currently scheduled for July 7 at 1 p.m. before Judge Sean H. Lane of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. TerreStar, in a filing Tuesday with the court, said it had not received any other qualified bids by the deadline of 5 p.m. Eastern on June 27.

If approved, the deal for TerreStar would come after Dish's purchase of two other telecom-oriented companies earlier in the year: broadband satellite service Hughes Communications for $1.3 billion; and DBSD North America, a hybrid satellite and terrestrial communications company that filed for bankruptcy reorganization, for approximately $1 billion.

Also this spring, Dish bought the bankrupt video-rental chain Blockbuster for $320 million.

Dish declined to comment on the TerreStar bid. TerreStar also declined to comment.

Analysts have speculated that Dish's acquisitions meant the company was planning to abandon satellite TV. On an earnings call last month, Dish chairman Charlie Ergen joked that he had a "Seinfeld strategy" -- meaning that you don't know what the show is about until the last five minutes.

TerreStar filed a voluntary petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in October 2010.

The company operates TerreStar-1, a geosynchronous satellite covering the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and offshore coastal waters. The satellite supports the delivery of IP-based mobile data and voice services, coupled with terrestrial cellular network capacity when and where it is needed. The large and powerful satellite, constructed by Space Systems/Loral, is approximately five stories tall and weighs 15,220 pounds.

Major creditors listed by TerreStar include Sprint Nextel, which claims it is owed $104.2 million, and Elektrobit, which is claiming $27.9 million.