NewImageAT&T has agreed to acquire Leap Wireless, the parent company of prepaid U.S. wireless carrier Cricket, for $15/share -- roughly $1.2 billion in cash, plus the $2.8 billion in net debt that the company holds.

The company has 5 million subscribers, and AT&T will keep the Cricket brand and retail stores operating. Last year, Leap engaged in a three-year agreement with Apple to sell iPhones.

AT&T Inc. and prepaid wireless provider Leap Wireless International Inc. have entered into an agreement for AT&T to acquire Leap for $15 per share in cash. Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T will acquire all of Leap’s stock and wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail stores and approximately 5 million subscribers. As of April 15, 2013, Leap had $2.8 billion of net debt. Leap shareholders will also receive a contingent right entitling them to the net proceeds received on the sale of Leap’s 700 Mhz “A Block” spectrum in Chicago, which Leap purchased for $204 million in August 2012.

Leap’s network covers approximately 96 million people in 35 U.S. states. Leap currently operates -- under the Cricket brand -- a 3G CDMA network, as well as a 4G LTE network covering 21 million people in these areas, and has 3,400 employees.

The transaction is expected to be closed within six to nine months.

Top Rated Comments

Xenomorph Avatar
101 months ago
Cool. Just keep inching closer to a monopoly...
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zin Avatar
101 months ago
Cool. Just keep inching closer to a monopoly...

AT&T still remains a monopoly from the old days, albeit a smaller one.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
osofast240sx Avatar
101 months ago
Excuse my ignorance but, why would AT&T, a GSM carrier, want Leap/Cricket, a CDMA carrier?

Spectrum for LTE
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Small White Car Avatar
101 months ago
I'm sure cynics will disagree, but I suspect AT&T won't change much about Cricket. This gives them the ability to gain price-sensitive customers without diluting the AT&T brand with lower-priced plans. Absorbing or altering Cricket would destroy that opportunity.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brianFL Avatar
101 months ago
Less competition, higher prices. What isn't to like?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lolkthxbai Avatar
101 months ago
Excuse my ignorance but, why would AT&T, a GSM carrier, want Leap/Cricket, a CDMA carrier?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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