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Falcone: Bankruptcy a maybe for LightSquared

Thu, 04/05/2012 - 1:13pm
Maisie Ramsay, Wireless Week

The hedge fund backing LightSquared may have the struggling company filing for bankruptcy, according to a report.

LightSquared has already defaulted on payments, stopped building its network and laid off 45 percent of its workforce as it works to find a way to advance its wireless plans against opposition from the FCC, NTIA and other government agencies.

Now, the manager of the Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund that has invested billions in LightSquared told Reuters that bankruptcy is one of several options he is considering.

Philip Falcone said to the publication that bankruptcy could be the "best way" for him to keep control of LightSquared, but he had "no timing in mind" for such a move. LightSquared has enough funding for the remainder of the year, and a bankruptcy filing would not affect the value of its spectrum, he said.

LightSquared and Harbinger did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

LightSquared has repeatedly said that it is not going away, but it has yet to specify how it will move forward with its wholesale LTE plans after the FCC in February took steps to revoke a key waiver for the network and suspend its right to use its satellite spectrum for land-based wireless services.

The FCC's decision came after a series of government tests showed LightSquared's signals knocked out GPS service, an issue LightSquared has blamed on the GPS industry.

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