LightSquared receives $3.3billion bid

12 December 2013 |

Wireless telecoms group LightSquared could be subject to a takeover, after receiving a $3.3billion bid from private equity firm Centerbridge Partners.

Centerbridge’s offer beats that of its rival, Dish Network – which increased its bid for the company in July this year – and falls just ahead of a bankruptcy court-imposed bid deadline.

Sources close to the deal told the Financial Times that Centerbridge’s offer has not yet been agreed, and that Dish could still retaliate with a higher bid.

Backed by Philip Falcone’s Harbinger Capital, LightSquared filed for bankruptcy protection 18 months ago when the FCC blocked the telco’s plans to build a nationwide 4G LTE network, on the grounds that it could interfere with GPS navigation systems in the US.

Falcone and his associates have reportedly been fighting to maintain control of LightSquared’s assets, while debt-holders at the company are pushing for the opposite.

Industry analyst Tim Farrar told reporters that Centerbridge’s offer was surprising, considering the risky nature of LightSquared, and said: “if the $3.3 billion Centerbridge bid becomes firm, I wouldn’t expect Dish to bid even more”.

All parties involved declined to comment on the deal.

Last year, LightSquared lost a major spectrum-hosting and network services contract with Sprint.