Sprint emerges as front-runner for FreedomPop takeover

13 Nov 2014

Sprint Corp is in talks with Los Angeles-based mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) FreedomPop regarding a potential acquisition, USA Today reports. The newspaper notes that the talks are ‘fluid’, meaning they could lead to an investment, an acquisition or no deal between the companies. According to a company insider who has not been authorised to speak publicly about the deal, other suitors for FreedomPop include a ‘large US technology company’ and a smaller wireless carrier. The company has been valued at between USD250 million and USD450 million, while a strategic investment could see Sprint inject around USD200 million.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, FreedomPop was founded in 2011 by Stephen Stokols, BT Group’s former Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. After initially agreeing a tie-up with ill-fated open-access Long Term Evolution (LTE) provider LightSquared, FreedomPop switched its allegiance to Clearwire and its parent Sprint in 2012, when LightSquared was denied permission to construct a network using 1525MHz-1559MHz L-band spectrum. Early FreedomPop backers included Mangrove Capital, Doll Capital Management and Atomico.

United States, FreedomPop, Sprint Corporation (now part of T-Mobile US)