AT&T acquires Leap Wireless for $1.19 billion, plans to keep Cricket branding

AT&T acquires Leap Wireless for $1.19 billion, plans to keep Cricket branding

AT&T has announced a deal to purchase prepaid carrier Leap Wireless for $15 a share. The arrangement will include continuation of Leap’s Cricket brand.

Leap had roughly 5 million subscribers. Rumors of the deal first surfaced over a year ago.

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AT&T appears to be paying quite a premium for the operator, as Leap shares were trading at just $7.98 on Friday. With 79.05 million shares, the purchase price would be almost $1.19 billion.

Also as part of the deal, AT&T picks up spectrum in the PCS and AWS bands, which should play nicely with its existing licenses. Once it gets the go-ahead, AT&T plans to put Leap’s spectrum to use for its own LTE network.

The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice will need to review the acquistion. AT&T said it expects to complete the transaction in six to nine months.

Earlier this week, Softbank completed its $21.6 billion acquisition of third-place carrier Sprint.

Image credit: iStockphoto

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