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EchoStar junk bond sale set

Sale will fund launch, operation of satellites

HOLLYWOOD — Satcaster EchoStar Communications said Tuesday that it plans to sell $600 million in high-yield, or “junk,” bonds to fund the launch and operation of satellites as well as unspecified possible business acquisitions.

The Littleton, Colo.-based company, which operates the Dish Network satellite TV service, will privately sell senior notes due 2007 through its EchoStar Broadband unit. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette will manage the bond sale.

Ratings on current EchoStar senior debt include a B2 from Moody’s Investors Service and B from Standard & Poor’s.

EchoStar stock closed up 31¢ at $44.94 Tuesday.

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