LightSquared files for bankruptcy

LightSquared, the wireless startup backed by hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, on Monday filed for Chapter 11 protection. The company and many affiliates filed for protection from creditors with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan. It has more than $1 billion of both assets and liabilities, according to the bankruptcy petition. The filing was expected.



LightSquared, the wireless startup backed by hedge fund manager Philip Falcone, on Monday filed for Chapter 11 protection. The company and many affiliates filed for protection from creditors with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan. It has more than $1 billion of both assets and liabilities, according to the bankruptcy petition. The filing was expected.


LightSquared‘s (Reston, Va., USA) future had been thrown into doubt in February when the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it would revoke permission to build out a new high-speed wireless network.


The FCC made the decision because the planned network threatened to interfere with global positioning systems used by the military and various industries.


In April, Inmarsat announced that LightSquared has failed to make another payment to the British satellite firm for licensing part of its spectrum in North America.  LightSqaured was scheduled to pay $29.6 million.  The company also failed to pay $56.25 million in February, shortly after the FCC said its network could interfere with services used by airlines and the military.


Shortly after the FCC’s announcement, LightSquared announced plans to lay off nearly half of its employees to save money.  The company said it would cut 45% of its 330 employees.


(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)