Iridium's white knight McCaw withdraws offer

Iridium, the financially troubled satellite phone provider, said on Friday it would seek other buyers following news that Eagle River Investments will not submit a proposal to acquire it.

Iridium is "aggressively pursuing" inquiries from other potential buyers, Randall Brouckman Iridium's chief operating officer, said.

Eagle River, an investment management firm that owns interests in several telecommunication firms and is owned by billionaire Craig McCaw, announced earlier today it would not pursue its investment with Iridium. Eagle River's investments include Teledsic LLC, ICO Global Communications, NextLink Communications and Nextel Communications.

On Aug.13, 1999, Iridium filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after defaulting on a $1.5 billion loan. Eagle River had led an investment group to make a proposal to acquire Iridium's assets. Last month, Eagle River provided $5 million in financing to maintain Iridium's operations through March 6, Eagle River said in a statement.

But Eagle River said it would focus resources in developing satellite-based data services provided its other investments.

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