EchoStar Closes $700M Bond Deal


EchoStar Communications Corp. closed a previously announced $700 million bond
deal Dec. 28 through its wholly owned indirect subsidiary, EchoStar DBS

The senior notes, which will be used to finance EchoStar's pending
acquisition of DirecTV Inc. parent Hughes Electronics Corp., will bear interest
at an annual rate of 9.125 percent and will mature Jan. 15, 2009.

In a prepared statement, EchoStar said the proceeds will be used to finance a
portion of the Hughes merger.

However, the company added that if the Hughes merger is not consummated, the
proceeds of the bond offering will be used to provide some of the financing for
a portion of Hughes' 81 percent interest in PanAmSat Corp.

EchoStar said a third use of the bond proceeds could be the construction and
launch of additional satellites, strategic investments and acquisitions and for
general corporate purposes.

The company announced in October a deal to purchase Hughes for about $25.8
billion in cash and stock.

As part of that agreement, EchoStar said it would purchase PanAmSat whether
the Hughes merger was approved or not.