Dish Co-Founder Offers $2 Billion For LightSquared Spectrum

May 22 2013 | 11:33am ET

With less than a month before it loses exclusive control of its bankruptcy process, Harbinger Capital Partners' wireless venture has received an offer for part of its share of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Charlie Ergen, the co-founder and chairman of Dish Network, would pay $2 billion for LightSquared's L-band spectrum. A deal with Ergen would allow LightSquared to retire its bank debt, roughly $1.7 billion.

LightSquared has been blocked from using its current spectrum for a planned wireless Internet network, which has been found to interfere with global positioning systems. The company, which has sole control over its bankruptcy until July 15, is waiting for a decision from federal regulators on whether it can switch its current spectrum for other government-owned spectrum.

Dish has also been on the lookout for additional spectrum, and the purchase of more than one-third of LightSquared's outstanding debt by Sound Point Capital Management, a hedge fund linked to Ergen, raised eyebrows last month. Dish itself is barred from purchasing LightSquared debt.


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