Vivendi Universal SA's $1.5 billion investment in EchoStar Communications
Corp. has closed, the companies said Wednesday.
The Federal Trade Commission approved the deal, about one month after it was
announced, without asking for more information.
With the closing, Vivendi Universal received nearly 5.8 million shares of
EchoStar class-D preferred stock at an issue price of $260.40 per share, giving
Vivendi a 10 percent interest in EchoStar and potentially an interest of less
than 5 percent in a combined EchoStar-Hughes Electronics Corp.
Each share of EchoStar class-D Preferred stock converts into 10 shares of
EchoStar class-A common stock, with equivalent economic and voting rights.
All class-D shares will convert to class-A shares when the fate of EchoStar's
proposed purchase of Hughes becomes known.
Vivendi chairman Jean-Marie Messier also became a member of EchoStar's board
Although the investment is intended to help EchoStar complete its purchase of
Hughes, it will 'remain in effect' whether or not the merger is approved,
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.