LightSquared seeks more time to control its own bankruptcy

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U.S. operator wants to be given until 31 May to file reorganisation plan.

LightSquared is asking a judge to give it until May 31 to file a reorganization plan without the threat of rival proposals.

In a filing Thursday with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, which LightSquared indicated in court last week it would make, the wireless satellite company said it deserves more time because it “has made substantial and tangible regulatory progress” and paid its bills on time during bankruptcy.

The company said it wants until May 31 to file a reorganization plan to the court and until July 30 to solicit votes on such a proposal. Without Judge Shelley C. Chapman’s approval at a Jan. 31 hearing, the exclusive control for those two things would run out on Jan. 31 and April 1, respectively.

“LightSquared has taken a number of additional critical steps toward its successful reorganization and in an effort to support the regulatory resolution that would permit it to deploy its 4G LTE terrestrial wireless network,” said LightSquared Chief Financial Officer Marc R. Montagner in a separate filing supporting the exclusivity request.

LightSquared, which long has held a goal of building a wireless network that could provide cellphone service to 260 million Americans by 2015, has put that idea on the backburner in order to stay viable. In September, the company proposed sharing some of the government’s wireless spectrum while it sorts out the issues related to its own network. The Federal Communications Commission currently is reviewing whether to modify LightSquared’s licenses in accordance with the September request. At the same time, LightSquared also filed a “rulemaking” motion that it hopes eventually would clear up the issues regarding its own network.

Calling the approach “not a ‘grand slam,'” LightSquared said in the Thursday filing that the company’s strategy “is to pursue incremental, value-producing results through these multiple FCC Applications, rather than ‘putting all its eggs in one basket.'”

Crippled by debt and set back by regulators’ concerns that its network could cause global positioning system interference, LightSquared filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May.