Phil Falcone‘s troubled wireless venture, LightSquared, is getting a new CFO, reports FINAlternatives. The company announced that Marc Montagner would replace Michael Montemarano, who had left the company in November. Montagner has a merges and dealmaking background. He used to head strategy development and distribution at SkyTerra Communications, a company Falcone’s Harbinger Capital “bought to serve as the foundation for LightSquared.” And, Montagner’s range of experience doesn’t stop there.
“Montagner was formerly a member of the merger advisory group at Dupont Circle Partners and co-head of the global telecommunications, media and technology merger group at Banc of America Securities,” reports FINAlternatives. “He also formerly led mergers and acquisitions at Sprint Nextel Corp., including the acquisition of Nextel Communications.”
The announcement of Montagner as CFO, with his previous experience dealing with Sprint Nextel, is auspicious timing. LightSquared is in a crucial deal with the Sprint Nextel Corp right now. Last week, Sprint gave LightSquared 30 days to get approval from the Federal Communications Commission for its nationwide 4G plan or lose out on a $13.5 billion, 15-year deal. Only time will tell, but the road for LightSquared is looking steep.
Senators Grassley (R-Iowa) and Roberts (R-Kan.) have spoken out openly against LightSquared’s proposed network. There have also been reports that LightSquared is running out of cash. Then, to top it all off, recent LightSquared test results were leaked. “It was reported that a draft of a highly anticipated government-sponsored test conducted on LightSquared’s high-speed wireless service showed ‘harmful interference’ on 75 percent of receivers tested.” Falcone’s Harbinger, which owns all but a small sliver of LightSquared, has already spent millions in lobbying fees trying to gain the much-needed approval in Washington.