Harbinger Pays Early, And More Than The Minimum

Apr 24 2012 | 5:51am ET

Harbinger Capital Management may have a lot of headaches, but a loan default and forced asset sale will not be added to them next month.

The New York-based hedge fund made its first payment to the Jefferies Group a week-and-a-half before the April 30 deadline, Bloomberg News reports. It paid $48 million on the $190 million debt, $500,000 more than required by the terms of the January loan, which is secured by Harbinger's assets.

The loan—which is earning Jefferies an effective interest rate of 24%—is due on Oct. 31, with another $47.5 million prepayment due on July 31.

In order to make the payment, Harbinger sold some of its assets, according to Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, Harbinger's biggest headache, wireless Internet venture LightSquared, resolved a debt issue of its own. The company settled its dispute with British satellite company Inmarsat, which had accused LightSquared of missing two payments totaling $85.9 million in February and March.

The two sides, which Harbinger founder Philip Falcone once dreamed of merging, have amended their four-year-old spectrum lease agreement, and LightSquared has paid $56.25 million. In exchange, Inmarsat has agreed to put its deal with LightSquared on ice for two years, during which time LightSquared will make no payments.

"This new agreement allows LightSquared an opportunity to focus its efforts on obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals to begin building the nation’s first coast-to-coast wireless broadband system," LightSquared interim chief operating officer Doug Smith said.

LightSquared is fighting a Federal Communications Commission decision to withdraw its preliminary approval for LightSquared's network.

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