Dish's Ergen says Sprint debt manageable

Dish Network's combative chairman, Charlie Ergen, is defending his $25.5 billion bid for Sprint Nextel, saying the debt load the deal would create for the combined company will be manageable.

"We will take on more leverage than we have today," Ergen said in an interview with the Associated Press. "But it's not excessive. In today's market, at today's rates, it's certainly not excessive leverage."

After five years of buying of and trying to create partnerships with cellphone companies, Ergen on Monday unleashed his biggest bet yet, an unsolicited offer for Overland Park, Kan.-based Corp., the country's third-largest cellphone company. But say the debt level of the combined company would put it in a risky position.


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