Centerbridge Partners offers to buy LightSquared for $3.3 bln -WSJ

Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:47pm EST

Dec 11 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Centerbridge Partners LP has reached a tentative deal to buy bankrupt telecommunications firm LightSquared Inc for $3.3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, quoting people familiar with the matter.

LightSquared, backed by hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, has been in bankruptcy since 2012 and is fighting to keep control of its valuable spectrum amid a takeover push by Dish Network Corp.

Reuters could not reach Centerbridge or LightSquared for comment outside regular business hours.

Three creditor groups have proposed plans that contemplate an auction for the assets, and Dish has already made a baseline bid of $2.2 billion.

Centerbridge has offered to pay about $3.3 billion for LightSquared and assume about $1.7 billion in various liabilities, the Journal quoted the people as saying. (WSJ story:)

A filing on LightSquared's bankruptcy docket on Wednesday evening showed that the company did not hold the auction for its assets scheduled for Wednesday and that LightSquared was pursuing an alternative transaction.

Fortress Investment Group LLC, earlier a LightSquared investor, also planned to make an offer for the bankrupt company, but withdrew the bid on Wednesday, the WSJ sources said.

It now backs Centerbridge's plan and with JPMorgan Chase & Co and Falcone's hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners, will likely be a minority investor alongside Centerbridge in the deal, the daily reported.

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