EchoStar Communications to Split on New Year's Day

Satellite operator EchoStar Communications finalized the details of previously announced plans to split its assets into two separate companies and said the move will occur Jan. 1.

The Englewood, Colo.-based company announced late Friday that beginning at 12:01 a.m. Mountain time Tuesday, it will issue shares for a new company, EchoStar Holding, which will hold EchoStar's technology and certain infrastructure including its set-top-box business and fixed-satellite-service operation. The new company is also expected to hold the assets of Sling Media, which EchoStar acquired in September for $380 million in cash and stock.

EchoStar Communications will retain the Dish Network pay TV business, which has some 13.7 million subscribers, and change its name to Dish Network Corp. following the completion of the separation.

Shareholders of EchoStar Communications will receive 0.20 shares of common stock of EchoStar Holding for each share of common EchoStar stock they currently own. Shares of EchoStar Holding class-A common stock were approved for NASDAQ listing under the symbol “SATS," and shares of class-A common stock of EchoStar Communications will continue to trade on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol “DISH.”

Regular-way trading in shares of EchoStar Holding class-A common stock is expected to commence Jan. 2.