Based on the financial results and analysts comments, LEAP could get taken out in the $6-$8 range. That assumes a very healthy premium for the spectrum. However I don't see any deal getting done because MHR is so far down on its position that he will resist anything less than $10.
I don't think anyone will pay $10/shr for LEAP. The best deal I could see is a stock swap with Sprint at 1.5:1 ratio.
I think Sprint's CEO would like to do a deal, but S's BOD is not going to let it happen.
S has too much debt, and buying LEAP would simply add more.
LEAP will likely go to a much bigger wireless player (that can manage LEAP's debt), or to someone with sufficient enough cash that has been looking to branch into the wireless space.
The money here is in LEAP's customer base. Spending $3B (premium on stock, plus debt) in order to capture LEAP's millions of customers is far less expensive - and obviously quicker - than attempting to grow organically.
Yes, LEAP's incompetent management has killed this company. But this simply means that a smarter company can now come in, grab LEAP's customers at a fraction of what it would have cost a year ago, and start offering a level of quality service that LEAP management has continually failed to provide.
I've traded this stock for a few years. The merger news provides great volatility to make a quick buck.
At this point, I do not see AT&T or Verizon making a play for LEAP. They don't need LEAP. Each can buy spectrum without having to take on all of the debt. If they want, they both can steal LEAP's customers.
The deal will come from a third tier player, Sprint or T Mobile, or from a company wanting to get into the business (Google?). I always thought the best deal was S doing a stock swap for both PCS and LEAP. That would give them the scale they need to compete with AT&T and Verizon.
If the govt is truly interested in competition in the wireless space, they should encourage this deal to get done. Right now there is no strong #3 player to challenge the AT&T/V duopoly.