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ICO wins majority stake in Globalstar
Posted: Mon, Apr 28, 2003, 8:31 PM ET (0031 GMT)
Globalstar satellite illustration In a surprising turn of events, satellite communications company ICO has won a majority stake in bankrupt rival Globalstar, the companies announced Monday. Late Friday a US Bankruptcy Court judge approved an offer by ICO to acquire 54% of Globalstar for $55 million. The remainder of Globalstar will belong to its two chief creditors, Loral and Qualcomm. ICO was one of several companies that provided $10 million in debtor-in-possession financing earlier this year to keep Globalstar operating while a restructuring plan was being hashed out, but appeared to be out of the running early this month when Globalstar selected investment company Thermo Capital Partners as the winning bidder. Thermo offered $55 million for 67% of Globalstar; ICO beat it out when it offered the same amount for a smaller share of the company. ICO plans to continue operating Globalstar's network of four dozen satellites in low Earth orbit while at the same time pressing ahead with plans to deploy its own constellation of at least eight larger satellites in medium Earth orbit. Monday's deal was the third announced this year for Globalstar: in addition to the Thermo deal, New Valley Corporation agreed in January to acquire a majority stake in Globalstar for $55 million. That deal was turned down in late January by Globalstar's creditors.
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