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LightSquared Makes Inmarsat Payment to Win Time for Talks

Philip Falcone’s LightSquared Inc. made an outstanding $56.3 million payment to Britain’s Inmarsat Plc related to a spectrum-cooperation accord and was granted an extension on further installments, gaining more time to win approval from U.S. regulators for a wireless service.

The broadband venture won’t need to make any additional payments until April 2014 as part of the new agreement, Inmarsat, the biggest provider of satellite services to the maritime industry, said today in a statement. LightSquared will no longer be in default, it said.

Under the companies’ agreement, Inmarsat is giving LightSquared access to part of its spectrum. LightSquared, majority-owned by Falcone’s hedge fund Harbinger Capital Partners, is struggling to get approval for a wireless service after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission said it will block the venture because of potential signal interference with global-positioning systems. Falcone has invested about $3 billion in the plan to build out a high-speed data network.

Inmarsat gained as much as 4.9 percent to 442.3 pence in London trading and was up 2.8 percent as of 10:34 a.m.

“The deployment of the LightSquared network remains a substantive revenue opportunity for Inmarsat,” the British company said today. “This amendment is in the best interests of Inmarsat’s shareholders.”

Inmarsat earlier this month had said that further payments were “highly uncertain.” The amended agreement allows time for LightSquared, based in Reston, Virginia, to win regulatory approval, Inmarsat said today.

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