With Samara at Helm, WorldSpace Sails out of Chapter 11 ... Almost

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Former WorldSpace CEO Noah Samara appears to have pulled of something a personal coup, as his firm, Yazmi, scored a June 25, 2010, closing on the purchase of the remaining assets of the bankrupt satellite broadcaster from its Debtors in Possession for a sum of $5.5 million.

It looks like Samara will be at the helm of his old company as it prepares to emerge from Chapter 11 proceedings conducted in a U.S. bankruptcy court. It's a storybook ending to a convoluted story that saw Samara fail at his first attempt to buy out the same assets for $27 million a little more than a year ago. Since that time, John Malone's Liberty Media very nearly took the salvage rights but walked away from the deal for reasons that remain undisclosed.

WorldSpace's sail out of a Chapter 11 dry dock may not be a smooth one. Chris Forrester reports in Rapid TV News that plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against WorldSpace have requested U.S. bankruptcy judge Peter Walsh to serve a subpoena on the reorganized firm during the conclusion of Chapter 11 proceedings.

The subpoena would require WorldSpace to surrender a number of detailed internal business records from 2006, a year in which the company tendered an IPO. The lawsuit, brought by Midland Partners, asserts that WorldSpace may have deliberately misled investors by inflating subscriber numbers in its prospectus.

A hearing is scheduled for July 12, 2010.

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