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Icahn buys LightSquared debt from bondholders
20 January 2012
Carl Icahn, Andrew Beal and David Tepper have bought $300 million in LightSquared debt from Farallon Capital
US billionaire businessman Carl Icahn has bought some debt from LightSquared’s bondholders amidst the company’s struggles to start operations. According to the Wall Street Journal, this move could give Icahn control of LightSquared’s radio spectrum, owned hedge fund investor Philip Falcone, as well as a say in the company. Falcone initially spent $4 billion to acquire the spectrum.
According to reports, Icahn bought some of the $300 million in debt from Farallon Capital Management, while the remaining was purchased by investors Andrew Beal and David Tepper.
LightSquared — headed by CEO Sanjiv Ahuja, who also runs Augere — is seeking approval for the conversion of satellite spectrum to use for mobile phone services, a move that has been criticised by several politicians. The US Department of Defense has stated that the signals will block GPS signals and interfere with satellite services.
According to Bloomberg, a regulatory probe has found that LightSquared does disrupt GPS receivers, a claim disputed by the firm. Meanwhile Sprint, which had agreed to build LightSquared’s 4G/LTE network, recently decided to put its deal on hold until LightSquared acquires FCC approval for the 4G wireless data network. GTB
Further reading from Global Telecoms Business:
Sprint puts LightSquared deal 'on hold' 06 Jan 2012
LightSquared gets extension on FCC approval 03 Jan 2012
Augere expands operations in east Africa 24 Aug 2011
LightSquared's Sanjiv Ahuja navigates course around GPS ... 10 Aug 2011