Harbinger Wireless Co. Gets New CFO, Sprint Extension

Jan 3 2012 | 2:12pm ET

Harbinger Capital Partners' troubled wireless Internet venture has hired a new CFO, one with a mergers and dealmaking background.

LightSquared said that Marc Montagner would replace Michael Montemarano, who left the company in November. Montagner formerly headed strategy, development and distribution at SkyTerra Communications, which Harbinger bought to serve as the foundation for LightSquared.

Montagner was formerly a member of the merger advisory group at Dupont Circle Partners and co-head of the global telecommunications, media and technology merger group at Banc of America Securities. He also formerly led mergers and acquisitions at Sprint Nextel Corp., including the acquisition of Nextel Communications.

The company that deal created gave Montagner's new company a 30-day stay of execution last week. LightSquared's most crucial deal is with  Sprint, a $13.5 billion, 15-year pact. The deal, however, required Federal Communications Commission approval by the end of last year, which was not forthcoming. But Sprint gave LightSquared another month to win the FCC's assent.

LightSquared has been buffeted in recent weeks by a leaked government test that shows its network interferes with 75% of GPS receivers and by a Securities and Exchange Commission fraud investigation into Harbinger, which has invested about $3 billion in the company. A recent internal report at LightSquared indicates that company is running out of cash and mentioned Sprint as a necessary source of revenue.

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