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LightSquared Seeks Preliminary Approval for New Financing

January 02, 2014, 07:33 AM
Filed Under: Bankruptcy

According to various news sources, LightSquared is seeking to pay the fees and expenses on part of its proposed $4 billion financing package, which would move the wireless satellite company's standalone restructuring deal forward as an alternative to Dish Network Corp.'s bid for its assets.

In a Tuesday filing with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, LightSquared asked for approval to pay fees to and enter into a "commitment letter" with J.P. Morgan Chase and Credit Suisse Group A.G., which are arranging $ 2.5 billion in financing that would allow LightSquared to exit bankruptcy. That exit-financing package is part of a plan led by Fortress Investment Group that would provide up to $4 billion in financing for LightSquared to get it out of Chapter 11.

It is expected that LightSquared will make the case that its Fortress-led plan is actually better than the Dish proposal later this month.

The fees wouldn't actually be paid unless LightSquared's restructuring proposal is approved, the company said in the Tuesday filing. Seeking court approval for such financing commitments is typical in bankruptcy cases, but approval of the actual restructuring proposal is needed to put the financing in motion.

LightSquared's new proposal is backed by Fortress and Melody Capital Advisors LLC as well as J.P. Morgan and Harbinger. It includes the $2.5 billion in so-called exit financing and a $250 million loan earmarked for a reorganized LightSquared. Melody would provide a $285 million bankruptcy loan.

The plan would pay secured lenders in full and give stakes in the restructured LightSquared to its current shareholders but is contingent on securing various approvals from the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the spectrum LightSquared is counting on to launch its wireless broadband network. Dish's bid doesn't need those extra FCC approvals.

LightSquared filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2012 after federal regulators refused to clear the company's network plans.

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