October 14, 2008 / 10:19 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Harbinger seeks talks with Leap management

(Adds New York dateline, comment from Leap, background)

NEW YORK, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Activist fund Harbinger Capital said it expects to hold talks with Leap Wireless International Inc LEAP.O about the wireless service provider’s management and operations.

Harbinger, Leap’s second biggest shareholder, with a 14.8 percent stake, said in a filing at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it expected to engage in discussions with Leap regarding near-term and long-term management and operations and ideas for maximizing shareholder value.

A spokesman for Harbinger declined to comment beyond the filing.

Leap spokesman Greg Lund said the company was open to talk with any shareholder including Harbinger but declined to comment on any specific discussions.

“We respect and welcome the views and opinions of all Leap stockholders,” he said. “We look forward to continuing the open and productive dialogue we’ve had and expect to have with all of our stockholders.”

The 14.8 percent stake gives Harbinger and its affiliates ownership of about 10.2 million shares in Leap Wireless.

Analysts have long-expected Leap to merge with MetroPCS Communications Inc PCS.N, which made a failed attempt to buy it last year, but saw a recent roaming agreement between the two as a sign that a merger would not happen any time soon. (Reporting by Shivani Singh in Bangalore and Sinead Carew in New York and ; Editing by Pratish Narayanan; editing by Carol Bishopric)

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