Harbinger Investors Want $1 Billion Back

Jun 9 2011 | 2:20pm ET

Harbinger Capital Management investors are poised to pull one-sixth of the firm's assets over the next 12 months.

The hedge fund has received $1 billion in redemption requests from its flagship fund. As Harbinger investors are only permitted to withdraw a quarter of their assets each quarter, those redemption will be paid between now and next March, Bloomberg News reports.

How they will be paid is another matter: Harbinger filled more than half of its March 31 redemptions in-kind, handing investors illiquid shares in its wireless venture, LightSquared. LightSquared currently accounts for more than 60% of the $4.25 billion flagship's assets.

Harbinger has not said that it will continue to make in-kind distributions, but firm founder Philip Falcone's letter to investors earlier this week announcing them appears to indicate that he won't be shy about it, citing his "high conviction in LightSquared, its size within our portfolio and the necessity of maintaining a controlling position while we join forces with a strategic partner."

Harbinger's flagship, which has returned 2.2% this year, is already 30% lighter than it was at the beginning of the year.

News of the redemptions comes as opposition to LightSquared's network continued to grow. On Tuesday, 66 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission warning about possible global positioning system interference. Those concerns echo those previously forwarded to the FCC by four Cabinet-level federal agencies and such companies as Deere & Co.

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