Corporate raider cashes in on LightSquared debt

8 May 2012

Self-styled ‘corporate raider’ Carl Icahn has sold his US250 million debt holdings in Philip Falcone’s ill-fated telecoms start-up LightSquared, Reuters reports, while Falcone continues to negotiate with creditors to avoid a debt default. News of Icahn’s debt sale comes as the venture’s remaining creditors reportedly agreed to a second week-long extension, until 14 May, for Falcone to reduce his firm, Harbinger Capital Partners’, 96% equity stake in LightSquared. Icahn, who was perceived to be one of the main driving forces behind attempts to coerce Falcone to reduce his role in LightSquared, is believed to have made a big profit on the sale, according to the sources familiar with the matter. Reuters suggests that billionaire Icahn sold his debt for around USD0.60 on the dollar, after acquiring the debt when it was trading in the low USD0.40 range, just months earlier.

Over the years Carl Icahn has taken substantial or controlling positions in a number of corporations, including: Texaco, Western Union, Marvel Comics, Revlon, Blockbuster, Time Warner and Motorola. He is estimated to be one of the top 25 richest men in the United States. When quizzed on Icahn’s actions earlier this year, long-time rival Falcone told Reuters: ‘Carl is certainly entitled to his opinion, as I am entitled to disagree with it’.

United States, Ligado Networks (formerly LightSquared)