AT&T has confirmed that it is going to acquire Leap Wireless for around $1.19 billion, this boils down to $15 per share. The news does come out of the blue as there were no rumors that this was going to take place. The brand that Leap Wireless has targeted towards customers is actually Cricket, a prepaid wireless mobile operator that roughly has some 5 million subscribers in the country. With this acquisition, AT&T not only gets the subscribers, it also gets Leap’s network assets, licenses and retail stores.
It was believed by many that Leap Wireless was actually going to be acquired by T-Mobile, which at one time was being bought by AT&T for a staggering $39 billion. Leap covers customers in 35 U.S. states, its unused wireless spectrum covers some 41 million people. AT&T will use all of this to its advantage, it will also open up its 4G LTE network to Cricket subscribers. Cricket is likely to become available in more markets as well, AT&T says that it wants to expand Cricket’s presence. Subject to review by Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission, AT&T expects that the deal will be completed within six to nine months.