LightSquared’s future remains unsettled as the investment firm that had tentatively agreed to purchase LightSquared’s assets out of bankruptcy has backed out of the deal.
According to The Wall Street Journal, LightSquared’s lawyers told a bankruptcy judge that Centerbridge Partners dropped out of the previously announced $3.3 billion deal “for economic and non-economic reasons.” LightSquared said it was continuing to work with investors on an economic strategy.
The Centerbridge deal came just ahead of plans to auction the rights to LightSquared’s 1.6 GHz spectrum holdings, which were expected to see a $2.2 billion bid from Dish Network and its chairman Charlie Ergen. The auction was cancelled due to the Centerbridge deal.
LightSquared filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2012, noting the move will give it “breathing room” to work through current regulatory challenges that prevent it from gaining access to its spectrum assets. Those assets had been tied up by concerns over potential interference issues with some ground-based GPS systems. The company stated that despite the filing it expects to continue normal operations, including support of its satellite-based offering that serves public safety, emergency response, government and military users.
LightSquared last month had reportedly contacted more than 90 potential interested parties looking for a partner to invest in the bankrupt company, according to a Bloomberg report. The story indicated that LightSquared was seeking an alternative to the $2.2 billion cash offer on the table from Dish Network, which has drawn scrutiny tied to Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen’s perceived conflict of interest in the matter. LightSquared owner Harbinger Capital filed a lawsuit in August claiming Ergen has enacted a fraudulent scheme in attempting to acquire LightSquared’s debt and thus assume control over its operations.
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