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Announcement:

Moody's says that Dish Network's purchase of Blockbuster will not affect its ratings

Global Credit Research - 06 Apr 2011

New York, April 06, 2011 -- Moody's Investors Service says that Dish Network Corporation's (Ba3 Corporate Family rating) announced selection as the winning bidder in the bankruptcy court auction for substantially all of the assets of Blockbuster, Inc., valued at approximately $320 million will not impact Dish's credit ratings. After certain adjustments are made at closing of the transaction, including adjustments for available cash and inventory, DISH expects to pay approximately $228 million in cash to acquire Blockbuster at the closing which is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2011.

The purchase will not impact Dish's ratings due to its significant financial flexibility relative to its credit ratings. As of December 31, 2010, the company had over $2.9 billion of cash and marketable securities, and Moody's expects that the company will generate around $1 billion of free cash flow in 2011. "The company has about $1 billion of maturities in 2011, but the cash and free cash flow should be sufficient fund the Blockbuster acquisition, invest new capital to begin retooling the Blockbuster business and repay the maturity if it is not refinanced in the public markets," stated Neil Begley, a Moody's Senior Vice President.

"The Blockbuster assets are not an intuitive fit for Dish, but there could be strategic vertical integration opportunities for Dish if it can successfully turn around and reinvigorate this important though tarnished brand name," added Begley. Blockbuster has more than 1,700 store locations, a highly recognizable brand and multiple methods of delivery. It could complement our existing video offerings, represent a retail outlet for selling Dish pay-TV services, and present cross-marketing and growth opportunities for DISH Network, though at some risk given the number of leases for stores, and given the strength of the competition from Netflix and eventually from the cable industry for subscription video on demand. Moody's anticipates that Dish will limit its investment in Blockbuster to some moderate portion of its free cash flows and will not incur material new debt to fund the company. However, if there is recourse to Dish for existing or future leases (i.e. guaranteed by Dish) the company's leverage could rise.

The last rating action for Dish was on May 23, 2008 when Moody's assigned Ba3 (LGD4-65%) ratings to Echostar's $750 million 7.75% senior unsecured global boands due 2015.

The principal methodology used in determining instrument ratings was Loss Given Default for Speculative-Grade Non-Financial Companies in the U.S., Canada and EMEA published in June 2009.

New York
Neil Begley
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

New York
Richard J. Lane
Senior Vice President
Corporate Finance Group
Moody's Investors Service
JOURNALISTS: 212-553-0376
SUBSCRIBERS: 212-553-1653

Moody's Investors Service
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Moody's says that Dish Network's purchase of Blockbuster will not affect its ratings
No Related Data.
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