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Dish Network is in talks with some bondholders for new financing

Dish Network Corp., the satellite-TV provider saddled with more than $20 billion in debt, is holding confidential talks with some of its convertible holders about potential new financing, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Dish has received financing offers from convertible noteholders to provide fresh capital tied to wireless spectrum held at a so-called unrestricted subsidiary, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private matter.

The talks come as Dish has been scouring for ways to address fast-approaching maturities as it tries to transition its business from pay-TV to wireless services. Charlie Ergen’s Echostar Corp., the parent of Dish, in February scrapped a debt swap that would have provided some relief after bondholders pushed back on the deal.

Negotiations are ongoing and no final decision has been made, the people said.

Messages left with Dish and its company advisers Houlihan Lokey Inc. and White & Case were not returned.

In a controversial move, Dish announced in January that it had transferred a handful of wireless spectrum licenses away from the reach of existing creditors and into a new legal entity under EchoStar. Dish also freed a new unit holding 3 million television subscribers from debt covenants. The asset shuffles spawned creditor organization and litigation.

In April, a group of creditors sued the struggling company, demanding it undo the series of collateral transfers it made earlier this year and return “wrongfully acquired assets.”

EchoStar Chief Executive Officer Hamid Akhavan said in a call to discuss quarterly results that “the lawsuit will not change the course for us or any of our prospects.” Bloomberg

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