Harbinger eyes Inmarsat sale

Steve Dinneen
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Shares in satellite firm Inmarsat shares dropped yesterday after US hedge fund Harbinger Capital said it was planning to sell a 10 per cent stake in the firm worth close to £300m.

Harbinger said it is considering a placing of the shares, which would reduce its stake in Inmarsat to about 20 per cent.

The market reacted badly, with the shares falling in value by almost four per cent, before recovering to close two per cent down at 655p.

Harbinger said it wants the money to invest in a next-generation telecoms network it is backing in the US. Inmarsat declined to comment. Harbinger, which also backs LightSquared, said it was reviewing its options but that no decision had yet been taken.

Meanwhile Inmarsat, whose satellites provide voice, data and broadband services to shipping and aircraft announced it will speed up a plan to increase the amount of spectrum available to its strategic partner LightSquared. This will allow the US broadband and satellite network provider to start offering 4G services.

LightSquared said it intends to accelerate the implementation of an agreement with Inmarsat to the fourth quarter of this year.