Mobile

AT&T to buy Leap Wireless for $1.1B; Cricket brand will survive

Above: Patrick Cain/Flickr

Image Credit: Patrick Cain/Flickr
NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

AT&T has agreed to acquire Leap Wireless, best known operating the Cricket wireless carrier, for $15 per share, or about $1.1 billion, the companies said today.

Under the agreement, AT&T will acquire all of Leap’s stock, wireless assets, and its 5.3 million subscribers.

Leap Wireless’ share price closed today at $7.98, so AT&T will pay an 88 percent premium to acquire it.

The move appears to be good news for Cricket customers. AT&T plans to retain the Cricket name on stores, give Cricket customers access to its network, and bring Cricket to more cities in the U.S.

It’s also positive for AT&T subscribers because they will be able to take advantage of Leap’s network. Leap’s network covers about 96 million people in 35 states across the U.S. Under the Cricket brand name, the service offers a 3G CDMA network and a 4G LTE network.