AT&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.