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Leap Wireless CFO Resigns Amid MetroPCS Bid Review

Leap Wireless International said Friday that its chief financial officer had resigned as the company continues to review an unsolicited takeover bid from MetroPCS Communicationsfor about $5.4 billion in stock.

Leap said Chief Financial Officer Amin Khalifa, who had been on the job about a year, had resigned to pursue other interests and that Chief Executive Doug Hutcheson would take on Khalifa's duties.

Khalifa moved to the company in August 2006 from Apria Healthcare Group, a provider of home health care services.

Leap shares fell $3.18, or 3.8 percent, to $80.52 in morning Nasdaq trade, while MetroPCS was down $1.65, or 5.9 percent, at $26.44 on the New York Stock Exchange.

MetroPCS made the made the offer for its smaller rival on Tuesday in an attempt to fend off competition from larger U.S. mobile service providers.

Leap said on Friday that it was reviewing the offer, reiterating what a company spokesman had said on Tuesday. Leap is being advised by Goldman, Sachs & Co and Jeffrey Williams & Co LLC.

MetroPCS offered 2.75 of its shares for each Leap share. At Thursday's close, the bid was worth $77.25 per share, or about a 7 percent premium over Leap's stock price before the offer was announced.

At Thursday's close, Leap shares had risen about 15 percent since the bid was announced, even though analysts had long predicted such a transaction.

The combined companies would have a presence in nearly all 200 U.S. markets, but a cumulative 6.2 million subscribers would still be much smaller than the top U.S. mobile providers.

Leap said that Hutcheson had held the CFO job from August 2002 to February 2005, when he was named CEO. Khalifa had replaced interim CFO Dean Luvisa.

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