March 13, 2014 — DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AT&T* today closed its acquisition of prepaid wireless provider Leap Wireless International Inc., which operates under the Cricket brand. AT&T announced in July 2013 that it would acquire all of Leap’s stock and wireless properties, including licenses, network assets, retail stores and subscribers for $15 per share in cash. 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.
In the coming weeks, Cricket will be integrated with AT&T’s existing operations to create the new Cricket.** The new Cricket will shake up the no-contract segment with a combination of simple, low-cost rate plans; a terrific lineup of smartphones; and a great network experience. The new Cricket will have access to AT&T’s nationwide 4G LTE network covering nearly 280 million people. AT&T will gain access to Cricket’s distribution channels and will be able to expand Cricket’s presence to additional U.S. cities.
Cricket’s network currently covers approximately 97 million people in 35 U.S. states, and Cricket had 4.57 million customers as of February 28, 2014. Customer migrations are expected to be completed approximately 18 months after the launch of the new Cricket.
In addition to Cricket’s operations, AT&T also acquired spectrum in the PCS and AWS bands covering nearly 138 million people. This spectrum is largely complementary to AT&T’s existing spectrum holdings and includes unutilized spectrum covering 41 million people. AT&T will immediately begin to put the unutilized spectrum to use to support 4G LTE services for its customers. This additional spectrum will provide additional capacity and enhance network performance for customers using smartphones and other mobile Internet devices.
The deal was subject to approval by Leap’s shareholders and to review by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice. The FCC approved the transaction within its 180-day review clock. AT&T will update its full-year 2014 guidance to reflect the impact of this transaction when it announces first-quarter 2014 results on April 22, 2014.
As of close, Leap had about 79.8 million shares outstanding. Leap will be delisted from the NASDAQ. Former Leap stockholders should visit the Leap Wireless investor relations website for more information.