DALLAS (AP) - AT&T says it will acquire Leap Wireless, the pre-paid cellphone carrier behind the Cricket brand, for $15 a share in cash, or about $1.19 billion.
Under the deal, AT&T will buy all of Leap's stock and wireless properties, including licenses, network, retail stores and 5 million subscribers.
Leap, of San Diego, had $2.8 billion of net debt.
AT&T says it will keep the Cricket brand name and provide Cricket customers with access to AT&T's "4G LTE" high-speed wireless network.
It also plans to expand Cricket's presence in the U.S.
Leap shares, which closed at $7.98, jumped 94 percent to $15 .52 in after-hours trading Friday.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.