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Leap Rises on Reports of AT&T Acquisition Talks: San Diego Mover

Leap Wireless International Inc. (LEAP), the regional pay-as-you-go wireless provider, gained the most in more than two months after the Wall Street Journal reported that it has been in talks with AT&T Inc. to sell itself.

Leap, based in San Diego, rose 10 percent to $9.62 at the close of trading in New York time for the biggest percentage increase since Nov. 30.

The Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter and didn’t identify them, said AT&T, the second-largest U.S. wireless company, is talking to Leap as it looks for sources of licensed spectrum for its mobile-phone network. Acquiring Leap is “one possibility” for AT&T, according to the newspaper.

AT&T is under pressure to add wireless spectrum after its failed $39 billion bid for T-Mobile USA. Facing opposition from U.S. regulators, the company in December was forced to abandon the deal, which would have increased its fourth-generation spectrum 62 percent.

Mark Siegel, a spokesman for AT&T, declined to comment on the report. Greg Lund, a Leap spokesman, also declined to comment.

Leap Wireless will release its fourth-quarter and full-year 2011 earnings today after the close of trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexander Yablon in New York at ayablon@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ville Heiskanen at vheiskanen@bloomberg.net

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