EchoStar Communications filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday to officially change its name to Dish Network Corp., a move that reflects its plans to split into two separate companies.
EchoStar announced in September its intention to split into two separate entities – one to hold its Dish Network satellite TV assets and the other, dubbed EchoStar Holding Corp., to hold its broadcast satellite receiver, antennae and commercial satellite lines of business and assets, which currently operate under the “EchoStar” name. EchoStar currently markets its satellite TV service under the “Dish Network” moniker. Sling Media, maker of the Slingbox, a device that allows subscribers to view cable and satellite programming away from their homes on their personal computers – also is expected to be included in EchoStar Holding.
EchoStar agreed in September to purchase Sling Media for $380 million in cash and stock options, completing the deal the following month.
It is expected that once the spin is completed – no date for that has been set as of yet – EchoStar Holding will receive all rights to the trade name and trademark EchoStar and will subsequently change its name to EchoStar Communications Corp.
The split does not need shareholder approval because EchoStar’s largest stockholder – chairman Charlie Ergen, who controls 50.3% of EchoStar’s common stock and more than 90% of the company’s vote – has already signed off in favor of the deal.