Controversial LTE operator LightSquared said Tuesday that it had hired a new financial officer with a long history in mergers and acquisitions, even as it bought some time with partner Sprint.
LightSquared said that it had hired Marc Montagner as chief financial officer, effective immediately. Montagner previously worked for Sprint, overseeing the merger of Sprint and Nextel Corp., leading to speculation that a Sprint-LightSquared merger could be in the cards.
LightSquared, which seeks to build out a wireless network that it can resell to partners like Sprint, said Sunday that it had secured an additional 30 days from Sprint, until Jan. 31, to secure FCC approval, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Neither LightSquared nor Sprint immediately confirmed the new arrangement. But the revised terms of the deal will give LightSquared some small breathing room as it attempts to convince the government that its LTE network does not overwhelm consumer and commercial GPS devices, as the U.S. government has alleged, backed by independent tests. LightSquared has countered by claiming that the interference issue can be solved via filters and by using a band of spectrum farther away from that used by GPS devices. Still, LightSquared has admitted that a small percentage of “high-precision” GPS devices will still be affected.
Montagner, meanwhile, previously worked as executive vice president of sales, marketing and strategy for SkyTerra—LightSquared’s predecessor company—where he worked on the regulatory, technical and business issues surrounding the company.
But Montagner’s previous experience is focused on mergers and acquisitions, including managing director of Banc of America’s telecom, media, and technology merger and acquisitions group. He also served as managing partner of Dupont Circle Partners, a mergers and acquisitions advisory firm specializing in the media, technology, and telecommunications industries.
More importantly, Montagner also served as senior vice president of corporate development and mergers and acquisitions for Sprint Nextel Corporation, where he oversaw the merger of Sprint and Nextel.
“I’m looking forward to harnessing my experience in finance and corporate development as LightSquared aims to revolutionize the wireless landscape,” said Montagner in a statement. “With more than 30 wholesale customer agreements in place, and even more to come, the company is on the way to fulfilling its vision of high-speed wireless connectivity for all, and I’m proud to help LightSquared achieve that goal.”
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