Leap Wireless International says a $400 million debt offering from subsidiary Cricket Communications may be used to hasten the launch of its LTE network.
In a document filed with the SEC on Wednesday, Leap said the net proceeds from the offering will be used for general corporate purposes “which may include accelerated deployment of next-generation LTE network technology and/or opportunistic acquisitions.”
Cricket is expected to bring in $392.7 million from the offering after discounts, commissions and other expenses are deducted from the proceeds of the debt sale. The company expects to close its debt sale on May 23; the senior notes will carry an interest rate of 7.75 percent and will be due in 2020.
Leap announced in March it would begin offering LTE services this year and planned to roam on LightSquared’s wholesale LTE network. The company has yet to release details about when it will make the service commercially available.
LTE service could help Leap stay afloat amid heavy competition in the prepaid space from MetroPCS and Sprint prepaid brand Boost Mobile.
Leap has struggled to post a profit despite improvements in its customer base.
Leap added 331,000 net subscribers in the first quarter and posted its lowest churn in nearly a decade, but widening losses continued to burden the company’s finances.
Leap has taken steps to set itself apart from the competition, most notably its Muve Music service, which has been attractive to Leap’s base of prepaid customers. The company also signed a deal with Global Tower Partners to sell off its tower assets in an effort to reduce the cost of running its business.